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be kicked upstairs
To be promoted to a higher role or position in a company that has little actual responsibility or authority. John was kicked upstairs to an assistant manager position so he would stop griping about his pay.
1. Literally, to climb steps to reach a higher level of a building. A: "Where's Susie?" B: "Oh, she went upstairs to bed." When you go upstairs, can you take the laundry basket with you?
2. To go to someone higher in a hierarchy, like one's boss, to seek their authority for a decision or other purpose. I'd go upstairs with that request—we don't have the authority to sign off on something like that.
See also: upstairs
kick (one) upstairs
To promote one to a higher role or position in a company that has little actual responsibility or authority. They kicked John upstairs to an assistant manager position so he would stop griping about his pay.
Fig. no brains; stupid. Tom is sort of stupid. You know—nothing upstairs. I know what's wrong with you. Nothing upstairs.
Promote someone to a higher but less desirable position, especially one with less authority. For example, Paul never forgave the company for kicking him upstairs at age 55. This expression alludes to its antonym, kick downstairs, simply meaning "eject." [Mid-1900s]
kick someone upstairsBRITISH
If you kick someone upstairs, you give them a job or position which seems to have a higher status but actually has less power, in order to reduce their influence. Peter Greenall becomes managing director succeeding Andrew Thomas, who is kicked upstairs to become deputy chairman. The radicals kicked him upstairs to the then ceremonial job of president.
kick someone upstairsremove someone from an influential position in a business by giving them an ostensible promotion. informal
the Man UpstairsGod. informal humorous
ˌkick somebody upˈstairs(informal) move somebody to a job that seems to be more important but which actually has less power or influence: They couldn’t sack him, so they kicked him upstairs onto the board of directors, where he could do less damage.
phr. no brains; stupid. Tom is sort of stupid acting. You know—nothing upstairs. I know what’s wrong with you. Nothing upstairs.
To promote to a higher yet less desirable position.