a pat on the back

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - a pat on the back

"a pat on the back"

a gesture or expression of praise, support or approval


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - a pat on the back

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  It was pretty awesome that you were singled out for outstanding performance at the last staff meeting.

Colleague 2:  Sure. It was a nice pat on the back but a monetary bonus would have been better than a trophy.

Colleague 1:  Still, it was a nice gesture on the part of management.

Colleague 2:  Definitely helps with motivation.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - a pat on the back

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  You know I've been working away at my website for the last three years. I finally posted my two-thousandth page today.

Friend 2:  You deserve a pat on the back. Good job buddy! Well done!

Friend 1:  Thanks.

a pat on the back - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   1,548   click for frequency by country

a pat on the back - Gerund Form:

Giving someone a pat on the back is a nice gesture to make.

a pat on the back - Examples:

1)  ... been a long, grueling decade of suffering for Oiler fans who deserve a pat on the back for sticking by their team, despite being a futile, basement-dweller.

2)  But he should also give himself and his mother a pat on the back for not wasting the opportunities given to them. 

3)  I would take five minutes every day to give myself a pat on the back for everything I've achieved in life, be grateful and thankful ...

4)  ... who brought positivity and love when it was most needed and a pat on the back or a hug when nothing else could help.

5)  Congratulations, you've beaten the tutorial, give yourself a pat on the back. For beating that tutorial, you've received money!

6)  I want to give my team mates a pat on the back for a job well done.

7)  The state government also deserves a pat on the back for ensuring the prompt payment of teachers' salaries.

8)  ... when the play was staged again, every member of the cast got a pat on the back, an indication that the play was well received by the audience.

9)  ... to avert loss of scores of lives, he said that the police deserved a pat on the back.

10)  Many managers underestimate the power of a pat on the back, especially with top performers, who are intrinsically motivated.

11)  ... shown by employers who had volunteer firefighters on staff. They deserve a pat on the back.

12)  ... his ambitious project and limited resources at hand, debutant director Sankalp Reddy deserves a pat on the back for making an engaging film.

13)  ... he can't seriously expect a pat on the back for a 23 per cent increase to private health insurance premiums.

14)  ... way to recognise accomplishments if the budget is tight. An email, a pat on the back or a thank you don't cost anything, yet ...

15)  ... mental health is so incredibly important, and you should all give yourselves a pat on the back for your initiative and effort to do exactly that. 

16)  It's great to be recognised by the industry and get a pat on the back to say you're doing the right thing.

17)  But it's an achievement for all and a pat on the back is in order.

18)  In fact, the screenplay nomination lists were a chance to give a pat on the back to some more people who could have done with some more love ...

19)  ... for their dedication, let's give the mom who works outside the home a pat on the back with a year-end bonus check to spend on herself, ...

20)  ... it is laudable because a pat on the back helps to encourage more efforts.