Where Did the Expression “He Got the Sack” Come From and What Did it Mean Originally?

“Getting the sack” has come to mean getting fired or dismissed from anything, including a love affair.

The expression entered the language long before the industrial era, at a time when workers carried their tools from job to job in a sack.

When the job was done, or the laborer was discharged, the boss or employer would simply hand the worker his tool sack.

He was literally “given the sack.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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