give (one) the sack

(redirected from give him the sack)

give (one) the sack

To fire someone from a job or task. The new secretary is so rude—I need to give her the sack. I tried so hard to do a good job in Mrs. Smith's garden, but she gave me the sack anyway.
See also: give, sack
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sack, to get/give the

To be fired or dismissed from work; to fire someone. This slangy expression dates from the seventeenth century or even earlier, probably originating in France. In those days workmen provided their own tools and carried them in a bag—sac in French—which they took away with them upon leaving. The term appears in Randle Cotgrave’s dictionary of 1611, under sac (“On luy a donné son sac—said of a servant whom his master hath put away”), and a similar term was used in Dutch as well. A newer synonym is to get/give the ax, which dates from the second half of the 1800s and alludes to the executioner’s ax. Both expressions also have been reduced to verbs meaning “to fire”: to sack someone (“I got sacked this morning”), or to ax someone/something (“The board axed the proposal for a new school building”).
See also: get, give, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Last year Peter McGlynn got sent off against Derry and we convinced him Rico was going to give him the sack. Rico played along with it too!
According to the Sun, Venkys' chairwoman Anuradha Desai is disinclined to give him the sack, and would prefer to offer him another job within the club.
Now that the BJP has decided to give him the sack, the party is almost resigned to the fact that their government in the southern state may fall.
He has only been dropped one pound for that dismal run and although I do follow plenty of lost causes it is time to wipe my mouth with this one and give him the sack in today's Old Newton Cup.
BRIGHTON boss Martin Hinshelwood has begged his chairman not to give him the sack after losing for the 10th league game in a row.
There must have been an element of satisfaction in it all for him as he got in first rather than letting the people who are not behind him give him the sack when his contract officially expired on December 31.
We dated for about a year-and-a-half but I grew bored with him so I also had to give him the sack.
Pulis reckons Mandaric is demanding too much too soon, and although he knows the chairman has the right to give him the sack if he feels the club is not on the right track, he believes such a move would be suicidal.
Stockport boss Dave Jones was a relieved man when Santa forgot to give him the sack at Christmas.
It is understood that when Charlton chairman Richard Murray rang Dowie to give him the sack he told him that he had just had a lengthy phone conversation with Reed.