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Idiom

Get the Sack: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
To be told to leave your job, usually because you have done something wrong.
Origin
hit the sackThis idiom comes from the time when workers carried all their belongings and tools around in a sack. When they started a new job, they would put their sack in a safe place in the building (usually the boss’ office) and they would collect it themselves at the end of the day. However, if the boss was not happy with someone’s work, he would literally ‘give him the sack’ and the worker would need to look for a new job.
Examples
“Have you heard about Tom? He got the sack last week when they caught him stealing money from the till!”

“You need to be careful – I heard Mr Davis say that if you come to work late one more time, you’ll get the sack!”

Gary: “Can you pay for lunch? I don’t have any money because I got the sack last week.”
Paul: “Oh no, what happened?”
Gary: “Well, it’s my fault really. They found out that I lied about my qualifications when I applied for the job…”