beast with two backs

(Redirected from the beast with two backs)



First attested in English by Shakespeare in Othello, 1603. Supposedly a translation of the French "la beste à deux doz" from Gargantua and Pantagruel, 1534, by François Rabelais.


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beast with two backs (plural beasts with two backs)

  1. (idiomatic, euphemistic) Two people united in sexual intercourse in the missionary position.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act 1, scene 1]:
      I am one, sir, that comes to tell you, your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.
    • 1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 22:
      [] he remained one of the few boys of his year with whom Adrian had never made the beast with two backs, or rather with whom he had never made the beast with one back and an interestingly shaped middle []


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