14

What does "watch your six" mean?

Does it mean "watch your back", like in a dangerous area?

3
  • You can see a pretty good definition by scrolling down on this page. This one is interesting, too.
    – J.R.
    Jun 6, 2013 at 1:32
  • i looked "six" up and it also means "equivalent to the product of two and three; one more than five, or four less than ten; as in the sentence: "she's lived here six months" ... easy peasy
    – user42874
    Feb 12, 2014 at 22:23
  • One can find a sample usage of the collocation in the Gemini Man movie. If to be particularly accurate the 18:00 - 18:10 minute of the movie.
    – qqqqqqq
    Feb 1, 2020 at 15:58

2 Answers 2

22

Your intuitions are correct; the phrase 'watch your six' does indeed mean 'watch your back'.

It refers to the 6 position on the face of a clock. If you were standing in the center of a clock face, facing the 12 position, the 6 position would be immediately behind you. From Wikipedia:

Using this analogy, 12 o'clock means ahead or above, 3 o'clock means to the right, 6 o'clock means behind or below, and 9 o'clock means to the left. The other eight hours refer to directions that are not directly in line with the four major directions.

2
4

This phrase is often used by combat fighter pilots to refer to keeping an eye out for enemy attacks coming from behind.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.