hatchet job

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hatchet job

A very critical attack on someone or something, especially through media outlets. The movie critic did a real hatchet job on the new film in last week's paper.
See also: hatchet, job

a hatchet job

INFORMAL
A hatchet job is strong, unfair, often public criticism which harms someone's reputation. Note: A hatchet is a small axe. The reporter set out to do a hatchet job on him and succeeded. The rest of the article is basically a hatchet job on the minister. Note: This expression may relate to violent gang warfare in the United States during the early part of the 20th century. See explanation at `a hatchet man'.
See also: hatchet, job

a ˈhatchet job (on somebody/something)

(informal) strong criticism that is unfair or intended to harm somebody/something: The press did a very effective hatchet job on her last movie.In the past in the US, a hatchet man was a person who was paid to kill somebody, often using a hatchet (= a small axe). A hatchet job was originally therefore a murder.
See also: hatchet, job