Coprire le spalle

Coprire le spalle in Italian

Coprire le spalle
To have someone’s back, to protect

Literal translationTo cover the shoulders
MeaningTo protect someone else from harm
IPA pronunciation/koˈpriːre le ˈspalle/

Where does this come from? Suppose you are surrounded by a pack of wolves (branco di lupi). If you face the wolves alone, you can’t tell what the wolves behind you are doing because your eyes don’t have 360-degree vision. However, if a friend comes to your aid and literally “covers your shoulders”, the two of you will be able to see what all the wolves are doing and no animal will be able to ambush you from behind.

man helping an old woman walk

For example, you can say…

Vai a chiedere aiuto. Ti coprirò io le spalle!
Go get help. I’ll have your back!

Sto per entrare nel magazzino abbandonato. Coprimi le spalle.
I am about to enter the abandoned warehouse. Get my back.

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