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cat in the sack
A ruse, swindle, or suspicious transaction. In English, the more common phrase is "(to buy a) pig in the poke" (a "poke" being an older word for a bag or sack), meaning to buy something without verifying its contents or value first; the "cat in the sack" (a phrase more common to other European languages) refers to an item of lesser quality or value that has been substituted in its place. This is also the basis for the phrase "the cat's out of the bag" (and iterations thereof), meaning the swindle or secret has been exposed. I thought I was getting a great deal buying my car from that online seller, but as soon as I drove it home, I realized I'd bought a cat in 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.
an empty sack cannot stand upright
One must eat in order to carry out one's duties. Have some dinner before you go back to your research. An empty sack cannot stand upright, you know.
can't carry a tune
Can't sing well; totally lacks musical talent. I think it's lovely that George wants to be in his church choir, but that boy can't carry a tune!
hit the hay
To get into bed and go to sleep. I have to get up early for work tomorrow, so I think I'd better hit the hay.
hit the sack
To get into bed and go to sleep. I have to get up early for work tomorrow, so I think I'd better hit the sack.
can't carry a tuneand cannot carry a tune; can't carry a tune in a bushel basket; can't carry a tune in a bucket; can't carry a tune in a paper sack
Fig. [to be] unable to sing a simple melody; lacking musical ability. I wish that Tom wouldn't try to sing. He can't carry a tune. I don't know why Mary's in the choir. She can't carry a tune in a bushel basket. Joe likes to sing in the shower, though he can't carry a tune in a bucket. I'd try to hum the song for you, but I can't carry a tune in a paper sack.
An empty sack cannot stand upright.
Prov. A poor or hungry person cannot function properly. Sit down and have something to eat before you go back to work. An empty sack can't stand upright.
hit the hayand hit the sack
Fig. to go to bed. I have to go home and hit the hay pretty soon. Let's hit the sack. We have to get an early start in the morning.
Sl. to go crazy. (See also crack up.) I knew I would nut up if I didn't quit that job. I almost nutted up at the last place I worked.
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.
to go to bed or go to sleep. It's time for me to sack out. Let's sack out early tonight.
sack something up
to put something into bags or sacks. Please sack the groceries up and put them in the cart. I will sack up your groceries.
asleep. Mary is sacked out in her room. Here it is ten o'clock, and you are still sacked out!
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.
get the sack
see under get the ax.
hit the hay
Also, hit the sack. Go to bed, as in I usually hit the hay after the eleven o'clock news, or I'm tired, let's hit the sack. The first colloquial expression dates from the early 1900s, the variant from about 1940.
Go to sleep, go to bed, as in We sacked out about midnight. This slangy idiom is a verbal use of the noun sack, slang for "bed" since about 1940; it alludes to a sleeping bag and appears in such similar phrases as in the sack, in bed, and sack time, bedtime.
A singularly inept person, as in Poor George is a hopeless sad sack. This term alludes to a cartoon character, Sad Sack, invented by George Baker in 1942 and representing a soldier in ill-fitting uniform who failed at whatever he tried to do. It was soon transferred to clumsily inept civilians.
hit the sackINFORMAL or
hit the haymainly AMERICAN, INFORMAL
If someone hits the sack, they go to bed. We were tired, so we only half-unpacked the car and then hit the sack. Do you want me to take you up to your bed? Are you ready to hit the hay? Note: In the past, people sometimes used sacks and hay as bedding.
To sleep or go to sleep: After a long day at work, I sacked out on the couch.
n. one’s bed. (Military. Apparently a place where one can break wind at will. Usually objectionable.) Come on! Get out of the fart sack and get moving!
get the sackand 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.
get the axverb
See get the sack
hit the hayand hit the sack
tv. to go to bed. Time to go home and hit the hay! Let’s hit the sack. We have to get an early start in the morning.
hit the sackverb
See hit the hay
1. in. to go crazy; to go nuts. I’ve got to have a vacation soon, or I’m going to nut up.
2. and sack up in. get courage; to grow some balls. Come on, man! Nut up! Stand up for yourself! Sack up and let’s go win this game.
See nut up
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.
See also: sack
in. to go to bed or go to sleep. (see also sacked out.) It’s time for me to sack out.
n. someone who spends a lot of time in bed; someone who does not ever seem to get enough sleep. Tom is such a sack rat. He can’t seem to get enough sleep.
1. n. a period of time spent in bed. I need more sack time than most people.
2. n. time to go to bed. Okay, gang, it’s sack time. Go home so I can get some sleep!
mod. asleep. Here it is ten o’clock, and you are still sacked out!
n. a sad person; a listless or depressed person. Tom always looks like such a sad sack.