Bend Over Backwards (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Bend Over Backwards"?

The term "bend over backwards" means to try hard (to the extent of doing whatever it takes to succeed).

Table of Contents

  • English Proverbs and Idioms Test
  • More Proverbs, Sayings, and Idioms
To Bend Over Backwards (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • She always bends over backwards to help her friends whenever they're in need.
  • The company is willing to bend over backwards to accommodate their clients' special requests.
  • He bends over backwards to ensure his employees have a positive work environment and all the resources they need.
  • Despite the challenges, they bend over backwards to meet their deadlines and deliver high-quality results.
  • She is known for her exceptional customer service; she will bend over backwards to satisfy her clients' needs.
This term usually relates to helping someone. e.g., "He will bend over backwards to help you." It originates from gymnastics and has been used across many cultures for over 1,000 years. It is a metaphor for suffering a severe inconvenience in order to succeed. (For most people, bending over backwards would be quite some inconvenience.)

Here are some examples of "bend over backwards" in sentences:
  • Your mother and I will bend over backwards to help you.
  • "I don't make people bend over backwards, and I don't like that in people. I am definitely no diva." (Singer Dolly Parton)
  • Businesses are bending over backwards to please customers.

Previous and Next Sayings

English Proverbs and Idioms Test

More Proverbs, Sayings, and Idioms

Help Us Improve Grammar Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?

Find Us Quicker!

  • When using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing), you will find Grammar Monster quicker if you add #gm to your search term.
Next lesson >