To give someone the sack, also: to sack someone; to get the sack

If she comes late again we’ll have to give her the sack.
They sacked him for hitting a colleague.
John got the sack from his last job.

To give someone the sack or to sack someone means to fire or dismiss them.
(Note: This term is used when someone loses their job because of their own behaviour, not due to the company going through a bad patch or the general economic climate. If a person loses a their job through no fault of their own they are laid off or made redundant.)

The expression comes from a time when a worker brought his own tools to work in a sack. When he lost his job he was given this sack back.

German: jemanden feuern

By the way:
Not to be confused with the expression to get someone in the sack ( = jemanden ins Bett kriegen) 😉


Porträt Nicola Bartlett
Nicola Bartlett
I’ve been an English trainer for over 25 years, helping adults to get their message across in English – clearly and appropriately. Successful communication in English requires more than just a good knowledge of the language. An understanding of different mentalities and a feeling for the best approach are vital, too. » more