give (someone) the air

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give (someone) the air

1. To spurn, jilt, or reject someone, especially a lover or romantic interest. Jonathan has had a broken heart ever since David gave him the air.
2. To summarily dismiss or oust someone, such as an employee. Management promptly gave the new accountant the air after his miscalculation cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. They'll give me the air if they ever find out I came into work drunk yesterday.
See also: air, give

give someone the air

Also, give someone the brush off or the gate or the old heave-ho . Break off relations with someone, oust someone, snub or jilt someone, especially a lover. For example, John was really upset when Mary gave him the air, or His old friends gave him the brush off, or Mary cried and cried when he gave her the gate, or The company gave him the old heave-ho after only a month. In the first expression, which dates from about 1920, giving air presumably alludes to being blown out. The second, from the first half of the 1900s, alludes to brushing away dust or lint. The third, from about 1900, uses gate in the sense of "an exit." The fourth alludes to the act of heaving a person out, and is sometimes used to mean "to fire someone from a job" (see get the ax). All these are colloquialisms, and all have variations using get, get the air (etc.), meaning "to be snubbed or told to leave," as in After he got the brush off, he didn't know what to do.
See also: air, give, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
Modi, who has vowed to modernize India's armed forces with a $150 billion spending spree, personally intervened in April 2015 to agree on the smaller order of 36 and give the air force a near-term boost as he weighed options for a more fundamental overhaul.
Based on Northrop Grumman's active electronically scanned array radar technology, the company's 3DELRR solution is a mobile, radar system that will give the Air Force powerful new air defense capabilities, the firm said.
A TYNESIDE bank has helped give the air ambulance a lift with a pounds 25,000 donation.
Leather sofas, warm woods and private wine lockers give the air of an old club, but the idea and technology are high-tech Euro style.
The ionic liquid work will give us access to materials that are too difficult to manufacture currently and that will give the Air Force more options for materials performance.
These Airmen give the Air Force the required capability and depth in foreign area expertise and language skills to successfully sustain coalitions, pursue regional stability, and contribute to multi-national operations.
The trust decided to give the Air Ambulance something a little bit special to auction.
This program will give the Air Force a common, integrated, personal computer-based mission-planning application for all current and future USAF PGMs and their variants.
An arsenal of land based ballistic, cruise and other missiles, and bombs and other weapons give the Air Force an unstoppable war-fighting punch.
Public Enterprise Minister Mary O'Rourke will report to the Cabinet on proposals to give the Air Corp's Baldonnel Aerodrome a new role next month.
That's because the GAO ignored advances in modeling and simulation that give the Air Force great confidence about the plane's performance, he said.
In trying to be a righteous ball, I'd followed all the laws: For every good push you give the air, expect another one back.
These data now give the Air Force an opportunity to conduct such a cross-check.
We are confident that our team's robust, scalable solution will give the Air Force the flexibility they need to adapt to the frequent changes inevitable in 21st-century information technology.
The technology America enjoys is a result of commitment by the United States to give the Air Force the things it needs.