The phrasing in books may need to be translated for different English-speaking countries. One author said on the topic:
My agent rang me up and asked what "on the back foot" meant. I was shocked to the core. Apparently, this was originally an Australian cricket phrase and holds no meaning in the USA.
Having looked into it a bit further, it seems translations are fairly common occurences.
What 'local' phrases do you know of, and to which country/countries do they apply?