walk the plank

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walk the plank

To be forced to accept the consequences of something. The phrase refers to the idea of pirates forcing their prisoners to walk off a plank on a ship and ultimately drown in the ocean. The person who's embezzling money from the company will have to walk the plank once their identity is discovered.
See also: plank, walk

walk the plank

Fig. to suffer punishment at the hand of someone. (Fig. on the image of pirates making their blindfolded captives die by walking off the end of a plank jutting out over the open sea.) Fred may think he can make the members of my department walk the plank, but we will fight back. Tom thought he could make John walk the plank, but John fought back.
See also: plank, walk

walk the plank

Be forced to resign, as in We were sure that Ted hadn't left of his own accord; he'd walked the plank. This metaphoric idiom alludes to a form of execution used in the 17th century, mainly by pirates, whereby a victim was forced to walk off the end of a board placed on the edge of the ship's deck and so drown. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: plank, walk

walk the plank

JOURNALISM
If someone in a position of authority walks the plank, they accept responsibility for something bad that has happened and leave their position. The company announced its new sales figures today, six weeks after the crisis that saw its chief executive walk the plank. Note: Many people believe that pirates used to kill their prisoners by forcing them to walk along a plank or gangplank sticking out from the edge of a ship until they fell into the sea.
See also: plank, walk

walk the plank

lose your job or position.
The image here is of the traditional fate of the victims of pirates: being forced to walk blindfold along a plank over the side of a ship to your death in the sea.
See also: plank, walk

walk the ˈplank


1 (in the past) walk along a board placed over the side of a ship and fall into the sea, as a punishment
2 (informal) be forced to leave your job or position: The food and the service is terrible in this restaurant. If you ask me, whoever is in charge should be made to walk the plank!
See also: plank, walk

walk the plank

To be forced, as by pirates, to walk off a plank extended over the side of a ship so as to drown.
See also: plank, walk