an axe hanging over someone

an ax(e) hanging over (someone or something)

1. The threat of being fired. There's definitely going to be an axe hanging over me if the boss finds out that printing error was my fault.
2. The threat of being destroyed or ended. I worry that there's an axe hanging over our initiative now that our funding's been slashed.
See also: hanging, over

an axe hanging over someone

If there is an axe hanging over someone, they are likely to lose their job soon. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. I wouldn't say there's an axe hanging over him but he's only got another season to put everything right.
See also: axe, hanging, over, someone