How do I describe lean back the chair (only two legs on the floor)?

emma.learns

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Dear all,

What phrase should I use to describe a person leans back and only two chair legs are on the foor?

Also, chair legs sounds a bit wired to say "chair legs"? Is there a better way to say it? The legs of the chair?

Thank you!
 
  • Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Chair legs" is perfectly natural. "He leaned back with two chair legs off the floor". I can't think of a simpler way to express it.

    If it is obvious from something already said that he is sitting on a chair, then you could say "He leaned a long way back" and it would be understood that two legs had come off the floor.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    You might say She tilted her chair back.
    In order to make it absolutely clear that not all the legs are in contact with the floor, you would have to say so, e.g. She tilted her chair back so that it was only balancing on two legs (which sounds rather clumsy).

    (cross-posted with Retired-teacher)
    (and hey presto!)
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    In order to make it absolutely clear that not all the legs are in contact with the floor, you would have to say so, e.g. She tilted her chair back so that it was only balancing on two legs
    I don't think it's necessary to specify that. If the chair is tilted, it can't have all four legs in contact with the floor. I remember at primary school the teacher used to say, "Don't tilt your chairs!" and it was clear.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Dear all,

    What phrase should I use to describe a person leans back and only two chair legs are on the foor?
    What happened? Is the phrase from 2 years ago not hip enough any more? (see here)

    It's your lucky day! It seems that a formal term has been coined, "chair tipping"; i.e. perpetrators indulging in such antisocial and borderline illegal ( :D ) classroom activities would be be called "chair tippers".
    <Here> you'll find some useful information, terminology, and even policies and methods for handling those despicable little "chair tipping renegades".

    ------------------------
    ...oh, where are the days when kids were still allowed to be kids ...?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I don't think it's necessary to specify that. If the chair is tilted, it can't have all four legs in contact with the floor. I remember at primary school the teacher used to say, "Don't tilt your chairs!" and it was clear.
    Yes, I agree that tilt back is enough for ordinary chairs, but office chairs do not have legs and the seat can be tilted back.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    <Here> you'll find some useful information, terminology, and even policies and methods for handling those despicable little "chair tipping renegades".
    I see from your link that it's only boys, (and in particular, Andrew), who seem to be guilty of this despicable crime. No mention of girls whatsoever! :D
     

    Einstein

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    e2efour and YLR, it all depends on the context. However, for an office chair, which allows for various movements without lifting any part of the base off the floor, I would say, "He leaned back in his chair", while for a traditional chair I'd say "He tilted his chair back".

    I see from manfy's link that emma.learns forgot she had asked the same question two years ago! Anyway, from there the context is clear.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I Googled several word combinations but the only combination that got me images of the chair on the hind two legs was "chair tipping". When I Googled "chair tipping" there were mostly images showing variations on this activity:

    tip back on your chair - Google Search



    And where was the Secret Service when you need them:


    Captioned: Careful, Mr. President. Leaning back in a chair often results in tipping too far. Even so, this one shows real dedication to getting a leg up on the table.
     
    Last edited:

    emma.learns

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Thank you all for the reply and I'm sorry about asking this again, I don't use this phrase very often so I didn't remember how to say it.

    I did google it before but didn't type in the key words that lead to my previous post.
     

    Porval123

    New Member
    English
    Dear all,

    What phrase should I use to describe a person leans back and only two chair legs are on the foor?

    Also, chair legs sounds a bit wired to say "chair legs"? Is there a better way to say it? The legs of the chair?

    Thank you!
    I come from Stoke on Trent in England and we call this quedling (kweedling)
     
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