axe


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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.
See also: axe, take

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.
See also: axe, grind, have

get axed

Fig. to get fired. Betty and two of her friends got axed today.
See also: axe, get

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.
See also: ax, grind, have

old battle-axe

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.
See also: ax, get

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

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.
See also: axe, hanging, something

get the axe

or

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.
See also: axe, get

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.
See also: axe, grind, have

axe

n. a musical instrument. (Originally a saxophone.) Get out your axe and let’s jam.

get the ax

verb
See also: ax, get

axe to grind

A selfish or ulterior aim: He claimed to be disinterested, but I knew he had an axe to grind.
See also: axe, grind
References in classic literature ?
She was much amazed when she heard that all the wood was cut down, and saw the axe unbroken in his hand, and since she could not believe that he had done all this by himself, she questioned him narrowly if he had seen or spoken to the black girl.
Morning had hardly dawned when the Fairy awoke the Prince, and giving him the glass axe again she told him to cut up all the wood he had felled the day before, and to put it in bundles ready for firewood; at the same time she warned him once more against approaching or speaking a word to the black girl if he met her in the wood.
Full of hope he hurried across the bridge, and recognised at once the spot where the castle was to stand, for spades, hammers, axes, and every other building implement lay scattered on the ground ready for the workman's hand, but of gold, silver, and precious stones there was not a sign.
But the Tin Woodman set to work with his axe and chopped so well that soon he cleared a passage for the entire party.
Thereupon the Wicked Witch enchanted my axe, and when I was chopping away at my best one day, for I was anxious to get the new house and my wife as soon as possible, the axe slipped all at once and cut off my left leg.
When I began chopping again, my axe slipped and cut off my right leg.
Once more Twala came on, and as he came our great Englishman gathered himself together, and swinging the big axe round his head with both hands, hit at him with all his force.
Nothing can resist your kind heart and your sharp axe.
The Scarecrow stepped forward and confronted her, while the Tin Woodman leaned upon his axe and the others formed a half-circle back of his Majesty's person.
The Tin Woodman's axe was snatched from his grasp by some person behind him, and he found himself disarmed and helpless.
He recovered the axe in the midst of the Milky Way of checks, starched shirts, and manuscripts, and prepared, when he came down, to kill Joe.
Saint Mary Axe,' Fledgeby put in, as he wiped away the tears that trickled from his eyes, so rare was his enjoyment of his secret joke.
Saint Mary Axe, or of somebody: which is far from our intention.
As for getting the axe, that trifling business cost him no anxiety, for nothing could be easier.
When he reached the landlady's kitchen, the door of which was open as usual, he glanced cautiously in to see whether, in Nastasya's absence, the landlady herself was there, or if not, whether the door to her own room was closed, so that she might not peep out when he went in for the axe.