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get the ax

Slang definitions & phrases for get the ax

get the ax

verb phrase

(Variations: air or can or boot or chop or heave-ho or old heave-ho may replace air) To be dismissed, esp to be jilted: When she found out, he got the air/ Lefebvre got the can in Seattle after building the Mariners to their first over-.500 finish (air 1900+; ax 1883+, boot 1888+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with get the ax
Also, get the boot or bounce or can or heave-ho or hook or sack . Be discharged or fired, expelled, or rejected. For example, He got the ax at the end of the first week , or The manager was stunned when he got the boot himself , or We got the bounce in the first quarter , or The pitcher got the hook after one inning , or Bill finally gave his brother-in-law the sack . All but the last of these slangy expressions date from the 1870s and 1880s. They all have variations using give that mean “to fire or expel someone,” as in Are they giving Ruth the ax? Get the ax alludes to the executioner's ax , and get the boot to literally booting or kicking someone out. Get the bounce alludes to being bounced out; get the can comes from the verb can , “to dismiss,” perhaps alluding to being sealed in a container; get the heave-ho alludes to heave in the sense of lifting someone bodily, and get the hook is an allusion to a fishing hook. Get the sack , first recorded in 1825, probably came from French though it existed in Middle Dutch. The reference here is to a workman's sac (“bag”) in which he carried his tools and which was given back to him when he was fired. Also see give someone the air
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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