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take an axe to
To destroy or attempt to destroy something, usually something intangible. I'm worried that Sarah will want to take an axe to her whole project after hearing your criticism. Congress is going to take an axe to some of the existing laws once the new term starts. I'm afraid I'm going to have to take an axe to the treehouse since it's so rotted.
have an axe to grind
1. To have a complaint or dispute that one feels compelled to discuss. I think the boss has a bit of an axe to grind with you over the way the account was handled.
2. To have a personal motivation or selfish reason for saying or doing something. It was boy's-club attitudes like yours that made my time at school a living hell, so yeah, I have a bit of an axe to grind. I don't have an ax to grind here—I just want to know the truth.
get the axe
1. To be fired. I'm going to get the ax if the boss finds out that printing error was my fault.
2. To be ended or stopped abruptly. I'm so disappointed that my favorite show got the axe this year.
Fig. to get fired. Betty and two of her friends got axed today.
have an ax(e) to grind
Fig. to have something to complain about. Tom, I need to talk to you. I have an ax to grind. Bill and Bob went into the other room to argue. They had an axe to grind.
a bossy old woman. She is such an old battle-axe. I'll bet she's hell to live with.
See also: old
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.
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.
an axe hanging over something
If there is an axe hanging over something, that thing is likely to be destroyed or ended soon. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. The axe was hanging over 600 jobs at oil giant BP last night.
get the axeor
get the chop
1. If someone gets the axe or gets the chop, they lose their job. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. Business managers, executives and technical staff are all getting the axe. I've often wondered whether I'd have got the chop, if I'd stayed long enough to find out. Note: You can also say that someone is given the axe or is given the chop. She was last night given the axe from the hit TV show.
2. If something such as a project or part of a business gets the axe or gets the chop, it is ended suddenly. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. That is one of the TV shows likely to get the axe. Services to major towns and cities across England are getting the chop or being reduced. Note: You can also say that something is given the axe or is given the chop. A few days previously, the Westoe Colliery, the last pit in the region, was given the axe.
have an axe to grind
COMMON If someone has an axe to grind, they have particular attitudes about something, often because they think they have been treated badly or because they want to get an advantage. Note: `Axe' is spelled `ax' in American English. Lord Gifford believed cases should be referred by an independent agency which, as he put it, doesn't have an axe to grind. He didn't have a critical ax to grind. He was very open-minded about other people's work. Note: You can also say that you have no axe to grind to deny that your strong opinions about something are based on personal reasons. The unions insist they have no axe to grind, because they will represent operators wherever they work. Note: There are several explanations for the origin of this expression. One is a story told by Benjamin Franklin about a man who managed to get his own axe sharpened by asking a boy to show him how his father's grindstone worked.
have an axe to grindhave a private, sometimes malign, motive for doing or being involved in something.
The expression originated in a story told by Benjamin Franklin and was used first in the USA, especially with reference to politics, but it is now in general use.
1997 Times I am a non-smoker, and have no personal axe to grind.
have an ˈaxe to grind(usually used in negative sentences) have private, often selfish, reasons for being involved in something: Having no particular political axe to grind, he stood for election as an independent candidate.
n. a musical instrument. (Originally a saxophone.) Get out your axe and let’s jam.
get the axverb
See get the sack
axe to grind
A selfish or ulterior aim: He claimed to be disinterested, but I knew he had an axe to grind.