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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 the ax(e)

1. To be fired. I'm going to get the axe 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.
See also: get

get the sack

To be fired from a job or task. The new secretary is so rude—it's time she got the sack. I tried so hard to do a good job in Mrs. Smith's garden, but I got the sack anyway.
See also: get, sack

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 to grind

1. 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. 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 axe to grind here—I just want to know the truth.
See also: axe, grind

old battle-axe

A strong-willed, argumentative woman, typically older in age, who is considered overbearing or domineering. My grandmother was always the matriarch of the entire family, an old battle-axe who answered to no one but God. I gained a reputation of being an old-battle axe in the office because of how outspoken and unbending I am about certain issues.
See also: old

give (one) the ax(e)

To fire one. The boss is going to give me the axe if he finds out that printing error was my fault.
See also: give

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


 and *ax
dismissal from one's employment. (*Typically: get ~; give someone ~.) Poor Tom got the sack today. He's always late. I was afraid that Sally was going to get the ax.

ax to grind

A selfish aim or motive, as in The article criticized the new software, but the author had an ax to grind, as its manufacturer had fired his son . This frequently used idiom comes from a story by Charles Miner, published in 1811, about a boy who was flattered into turning the grindstone for a man sharpening his ax. He worked hard until the school bell rang, whereupon the man, instead of thanking the boy, began to scold him for being late and told him to hurry to school. "Having an ax to grind" then came into figurative use for having a personal motive for some action. [Mid-1800s]
See also: ax, grind

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

get the sack

see under get the ax.
See also: get, sack

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

have an axe to grind

have 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.
See also: axe, grind, have

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.
See also: axe, grind, have

get the sack

and get the ax
tv. to be dismissed from one’s employment. Poor Tom got the sack today. He’s always late. If I miss another day, I’ll get the ax.
See also: get, sack

get the ax

See also: ax, get

give someone the ax

1. tv. to dismiss someone from employment. I was afraid they would give me the ax.
2. tv. to divorce someone. She gave him the ax because he wouldn’t stop smoking like he promised.
See also: ax, give, someone


1. n. a bed. I was so tired I could hardly find my sack.
2. tv. to dismiss someone from employment; to fire someone. If I do that again, they’ll sack me.
3. and the sack n. a dismissal. (Always with the in this sense.) The boss gave them all the sack.
4. tv. in football, to tackle the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage. I tried to sack him, but he was too fast.
5. n. the completion of a tackle in football. Andy made the sack on the ten-yard line.

ax to grind, an

A selfish motive. Allegedly this term comes from a cautionary tale by Charles Miner, first published in 1810, about a boy persuaded to turn the grindstone for a man sharpening his ax. The work not only was difficult to do but also made him late for school. Instead of praising the youngster, the man then scolded him for truancy and told him to hurry to school. Other sources attribute it to a similar story recounted by Benjamin Franklin. Whichever its origin, the term was frequently used thereafter and apparently was a cliché by the mid-nineteenth century.
See also: ax


A bossy, combative woman. Obviously referring to the ancient weapon, the figurative usage dates from the late 1800s. For example, “That battle-ax of a secretary guards her boss so no one can get in to see him.” The cliché is now heard less often and may be dying out.

give someone the ax, to

To fire someone from his or her job. See also sack; pink slip.
See also: give, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
Models R15 modular cartesian (rectilinear) robot system with 3 to 5 axes and strokes from 4 in.
Manufactures a range of high-quality, cost-effective robotic equipment covering a range of functions from simple sprue/parts removal to sophisticated programmable operations in several axes. Can be electrically or pneumatically driven.
New L-Series servo robots from Star Automation have extra-long strokes on all three axes. They cover a press-size range from 150 to 1000 tons.
AN-M robots are virtually maintenance-free with pre-lubricated and sealed bearings on all linear axes. ANII units have compound-drive, main arm for conserving overhead clearance.
Acramatic 975C control system offers 10 axes of coordinated control with individual acceleration and deceleration rate, and "Look Ahead" software to prevent laying down defective tape.
Additional capabilities include remote adjustments of vertical and kick axes for operator safety.
* Speed - Peak velocity for Moduline is up to 5 meters/sec on the y axis and up to 2 meters/sec on the x and z axes.
"The drives cannot talk to each other, so you can't necessarily coordinate the motions on the axes. Because the motors can increase and decrease torque, true CNC servo robots can tell the axes to start at one point and go to another point.
For instance, in every traditional village structure there is always an axe in each homestead coupled with other assortment of household equipment or tools such as digging pick, cutting saw, spade, rake and wheel burrow among others but there could be uniqueness in the usage of the tools.
What a great idea that is.' But truthfully, after you have a couple drinks you start to actually throw a little bit better,' said Alexander Stine, an 'axepert' at Kick Axe. He honed his own skills growing up in Colorado throwing knives at carnivals and now trains newcomers on proper technique.
According to Wittmann, a special feature of the new wrist axes is that they do not change the acceleration/deceleration profile of the robot axes, while other robots reportedly require adjustment of the movement profiles to accommodate supplementary equipment.
Employing a two-axis system, the unit features a single continuous belt that serpentines around the two axes eliminating the need for a motor in the Z- or Y-axis while driving a pair of coordinated motors in the X-axis.
The alternative approach takes advantage of the fact that a rescaling of the parent function plot's axes changes it into the generalised parent function plot.
Another two controlled axes ensures swinging and rotating cutting head.
Axes--SketchUp uses a 3D coordinate system, similar to AutoCAD, where points in space are identified by position along the drawing axes identifiable by their color: red, green, or blue.