plural noun Informal.
a notification of dismissal.
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- walking fish,
- walking horse,
- walking leaf,
- walking line,
- walking on water,
- walking shorts,
- walking stick,
- walking ticket,
- walking wounded,
- walking-around money
Origin of walking papers
An Americanism dating back to 1815–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for walking papers
slang, mainly US and 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
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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.