In the TV show House of cards, angry President Garry Walker finds out his vice president, Frank, has been betraying him possibly to replace him as president. Garry says to Frank:

From this moment forward, I don’t want to hear your voice. I don’t want to see your face. And if I do, I will put you on your goddamn back.

I suspect it is a figurative way of saying I will kill you, or maybe hurt you, but I'm not sure.

  • 1
    It means to throw someone to the ground, on their back, to their hurt and disadvantage. Commented Oct 14, 2018 at 23:21
  • 1
    Like a turtle on it's shell. Get it now? Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 5:28

1 Answer 1


I interpret it as meaning that Garry will hit or throw Frank to the ground (possibly knock him out), the result being that Frank would be on his back. That's the physical interpretation. You could also interpret it figuratively, suggesting that Gary would harm Frank's career.

To imply death, I think a different expression would be used, like

And if I do, I will [put you six feet under]/[bury you].

Though, both (especially "bury you") could also suggest ending Frank's career.

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