Student or Learner
I am quite confused about the meaning of the below-mentioned sentence. As I have been advised it appears on a sticker on the back of a car:
I AM BACKING BRITAIN - BUT BACKING BRITAIN INTO WHAT?
As for the verb to back, I know that it can mean to SUPPORT, or when in a car TO GO BACKWARDS. However, I think that because it is stuck at the back of the car it should have some connection with going backwards? But then it does not make any sense to me.
Could you please help?
This is a play on two of the meanings of the word 'to back'.
"I'm Backing Britain" was a brief patriotic campaign aimed at boosting the British economy in early 1968.
So first part of the sentence = 'I'm supporting Britain'
As you know, 'backing' is also used when we reverse a car into a garage or parking spot. We also refer to being ‘backed into a corner’, meaning we have been forced into a situation we don’t want to be in and can’t get out of.
Now, a country is usually seen as ‘going forward’, prospering etc. So, the use of 'backing' in relation to a nation suggests a nation going backwards rather than prospering, or that things are getting better in terms of the economy, standard of living.
So – all the time we are backing Britain, where the hell are our politicians taking us? Maybe all the time we are supporting the country by ‘buying British made’, ‘British grown food’ etc, our politicians could be taking us where we don’t want to go eg totally into the EU, including adopting the Euro.
It is likely that the bumper sticker was prompted by something specific, and perhaps something here in Britain itself rather than international.
Maybe someone who bought a sticker can fill in the missing pieces as to what this refers.
I have got it from my textbook and there is nothing more. Just a remark that it appears on a sticker on the back of a car.....