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be kicked upstairs
To be promoted to a higher role or position in a company that has little actual responsibility or authority. John was kicked upstairs to an assistant manager position so he would stop griping about his pay.
1. Literally, to climb steps to reach a higher level of a building. A: "Where's Susie?" B: "Oh, she went upstairs to bed." When you go upstairs, can you take the laundry basket with you?
2. To go to someone higher in a hierarchy, like one's boss, to seek their authority for a decision or other purpose. I'd go upstairs with that request—we don't have the authority to sign off on something like that.
See also: upstairs
Fig. no brains; stupid. Tom is sort of stupid. You know—nothing upstairs. I know what's wrong with you. Nothing upstairs.
kick somebody upstairs
to give someone a new job which seems more powerful but is really less powerful, usually in order to stop them causing trouble for you Brown is being kicked upstairs to become chairman of the new company.
Promote someone to a higher but less desirable position, especially one with less authority. For example, Paul never forgave the company for kicking him upstairs at age 55. This expression alludes to its antonym, kick downstairs, simply meaning "eject." [Mid-1900s]
phr. no brains; stupid. Tom is sort of stupid acting. You know—nothing upstairs. I know what’s wrong with you. Nothing upstairs.
To promote to a higher yet less desirable position.