give (someone) the air

(redirected from gave him the air)

give (someone) the air

1. To spurn, jilt, or reject someone, especially a lover or romantic interest. Jonathan has had a broken heart ever since David gave him the air.
2. To summarily dismiss or oust someone, such as an employee. Management promptly gave the new accountant the air after his miscalculation cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. They'll give me the air if they ever find out I came into work drunk yesterday.
See also: air, give
References in classic literature ?
This fair, smooth-faced young man, whose symmetrically arranged hair gave him the air of a large and neat schoolboy, met the Assistant Commissioner's request with a doubtful look, and spoke with bated breath.