This is from a famous TV show Golden girls (see:11:10-11:15)

"Well, it seems there was a little mix up out back and Mrs. Clarkson was cremated by mistake."

I looked "out back" up in 4 dictionaries, all of which yielded the same meaning: "rural areas". However, this meaning do not seem to sit well with the sentence.

Does "out back" here really means "rural areas"?

2 Answers 2


Out back refers to the non-public areas of a business premises

They may be inside or outside the actual building.

For example, a shoe store might have some shoes on display but others stored in the staff area “out back”, or “out the back” depending on dialect.

In the case of a crematorium, the “front” customer-accessible area is usually a chapel. “Out back” is where the furnace is and the cremations actually happen.

Come to think of it, it can apply to a residential building to - “Can I borrow your lawn mower?” “Sure, it’s out back.”


No, there "out back" means in an area behind a building. In this case, it's probably the area behind the crematorium, where bodies are actually burnt.

It can refer to the area, such as a back yard, behind a dwelling, or to the area behind a store.

Wiktionary "out back"
out back (not comparable) (US) Outside, at the back.
example: My car is parked out back.

  • 1
    The expression meaning rural areas is one word, outback, and is mainly Australian. Sep 2, 2023 at 8:32
  • "out the back" is a common variant (maybe more usual in the UK), with the same meaning (in the backyard, back workshop, shed, garden, etc).
    – Stuart F
    Sep 2, 2023 at 11:06

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