back forty

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The remote part of a farm.

Etymology:

  • back + forty, meaning “back side of a farm”. In the Homestead Acts, farmers were granted a quarter section; a section was 640 acres, a quarter section was 160 acres, and the quarter section was itself subdivided into four quarter-quarter sections of 40 acres each: two front forty and two back forty.
  • Compare back of beyond, backcountry, and backwater.
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They couldn't contact the farmer right away because he was out plowing the back forty

Submitted on July 07, 2010

Additional definitions for 'back forty':

back fortyThe most remote or inaccessible part of any place.
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"back forty." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 17 Feb. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/back-forty_10997>.

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