give (one) the sack

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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 ?
Staff who don't sign by November 2 risk being given the sack.
Sarah Kuteh was given the sack from her job at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford, Kent, in 2016 for repeatedly talking to patients about her faith and handing out a bible.
My point is, in this country he was given the sack - he should have been given an OBE or CBE.
Bethany feels humiliated, but unless she's given the sack, it seems unlikely she will back down - the teenager is, after all, a chip off the old block.
But reaching the World Cup would be something else entirely for a coach given the sack by Newport County in September 2011.
Two leading British bookmakers have suspended betting on Chelsea's Antonio Conte becoming the next Premier League manager to be given the sack.
Gateshead-born Aspin served Halifax with distinction for six years before he was given the sack in September after a poor start to the season.
Not only is the Rev charged with burglary after her light-fingered detective work, but she's also given the sack for marrying Ruby and Ali without consulting the bishop.
As managers across the board in English football continue to be given the sack for not delivering success at an alarming rate, Mancini has been connected with a possible move to Monaco if he fails to bring a trophy to Etihad Stadium this season.
"We are not doing all this to have our members given the sack to be replaced by cheap agency labour."
Maher Ibrahim, an Arabic-language teacher, agrees that senior education officials, especially those who belonged to the NDP, ought to be given the sack.
Manager Ancelotti continued to maintain he had no idea whether he would be given the sack but that he would have no problem if he was.
Henri Michel was installed later on, but he was also given the sack after a string of poor results.
That was enough reason for the Aussie coach to be given the sack.