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walking papers

plural noun, Informal.
a notification of dismissal.
Origin of walking papers
An Americanism dating back to 1815-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for walking papers
Historical Examples
  • Send me his 'walking papers' and I'll see that he gets them.

    Dreamy Hollow

    Sumner Charles Britton
  • McRae at last lost patience with him and gave him his walking papers.

    Baseball Joe, Home Run King

    Lester Chadwick
  • Nance tells me I must get busy or else take my walking papers.

  • The bases were filled, two men knocking a one and two bagger respectively and another getting his walking papers.

    The Rival Pitchers Lester Chadwick
  • Langridge seemed to be asleep part of the time and issued a number of walking papers.

    The Rival Pitchers Lester Chadwick
  • Kerr was a notoriously good hitter and Ogden gave him his walking papers.

    The Rival Pitchers Lester Chadwick
  • If he tried to stand in the way of anything I wanted, the result is certain; he would get his walking papers de suite.

    A New Sensation Albert Ross
  • I don't know what has happened but I think she has given King his walking papers—and all on account of you.

    The Eagle's Heart Hamlin Garland
  • You issued plenty of walking papers to-day, and they found you several times, in spite of your curves.

    Batting to Win Lester Chadwick
  • "You'll be lucky if that mistake doesn't give you your walking papers," said the foreman.

    Flip's "Islands of Providence" Annie Fellows Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for walking papers

walking papers

plural noun
(slang, mainly US & Canadian) notice of dismissal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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walking papers in Culture

walking papers definition

Notice of dismissal. To “get one's walking papers” is to be fired.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for walking papers

walking papers

noun phrase

A dismissal or discharge; esp, a rejection; pink slip: Two baseball veterans got their walking papers today (1820s+)

Related Terms

give someone his walking papers

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with walking papers

walking papers

A dismissal, as in They're downsizing, and I got my walking papers last week. This slangy expression, first recorded in 1835, refers to a written notice of dismissal.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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