when one's back is turned

Idioms & Phrases

when one's back is turned

When one is away or not looking, as in You can count on the children to misbehave when the teacher's back is turned, or I don't dare go on vacation; he'll take my job when my back is turned. Also see when the cat's away, the mice will play.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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