we'd verbally clap each other on the back, and then back to mom.

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Vanloon

Senior Member
Hindi
Transcript | This American Life


After mom died, I started calling home a lot more to talk to my stepdad, Ed Hacker. He and I never really had a phone relationship when my mother was alive. It was more the classic thing of, "You wanna say hi to Ed?" And then we'd verbally clap each other on the back, and then back to mom.

It is too confusing for me.
Could you paraphrase this one and tell me the meaning please?
Thanks.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To clap (or slap) each other on the back is what men do as a cordial type of hello or goodbye. Here what is meant is that they're doing the verbal equivalent of that over the phone – presumably by each briefly enquiring how the other one's doing, or something like that.

    "Then back to mom" just means handing the phone back to her when the two men have finished their brief exchange.
     

    Vanloon

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    To clap (or slap) each other on the back is what men do as a cordial type of hello or goodbye. Here what is meant is that they're doing the verbal equivalent of that over the phone – presumably by each briefly enquiring how the other one's doing, or something like that.

    "Then back to mom" just means handing the phone back to her when the two men have finished their brief exchange.
    What does verbal equivalent of that mean here? Sorry you bothering
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    They were talking on the phone, so they couldn't physically clap each other on the back. Instead they would "verbally clap each other on the back" – which is just a neat way of saying that they didn't have a proper conversation, they simply exchanged a few pleasantries because they felt they had to.
     
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