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  #1  
Old 03-04-2003, 02:57 PM
Logical Phallacy Logical Phallacy is offline
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etymology of "fired"

Had I not been "fired" I would likely not be wasting my days searching for random etymologies.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2003, 03:02 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is online now
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"To be driven or forced out, as if by fire"

Paraphrased from OED, and it's centuries old.
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Old 03-04-2003, 03:04 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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It, of course, is from the word "fire" as in "to fire a gun." The OED has the first instance in 1885.

The image is to eject someone from a job like a gun ejects a bullet.
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Old 03-04-2003, 03:05 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Mjollnir -- the OED says your derivation is "unlikely."
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Old 03-04-2003, 05:35 PM
Logical Phallacy Logical Phallacy is offline
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arghhh.
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Old 03-04-2003, 06:58 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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No, no, no. You're all wrong. The explanation is not very complicated.

"Fired" is a play on words that turns around the multivalent meaning of discharge. To "charge" could mean...
Quote:
1. To impose a duty, responsibility, or obligation on: charged him with the task of watching the young swimmers.
(in other words, to give somebody a job of work) ... or ...
Quote:
6. To load (a gun or other firearm) with a quantity of explosive: charged the musket with powder.
(definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary.)

So discharge could mean either:
—set off the explosive in the firearm (i.e. fire the gun); or
—dismiss the worker from their job.

To discharge originally had both meanings, but to fire originally meant only shooting off the gun. Through wordplay the verb to fire was transferred to the other meaning of discharge. Get it?
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Old 03-04-2003, 07:31 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by RealityChuck
Mjollnir -- the OED says your derivation is "unlikely."
You must have a more up-to-date version. Mine is the original dating from the 1920s, and I definitely go that impression from the description.

Hmmm. . . .

It's only about a century old. Maybe I need to upgrade.
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:35 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is online now
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What's the worst kind of exercise?

Answer: Jumping to conclusions

Yep. I misread. There in black and white. The last entry (#16--I stopped reading at #8), with the "disclaimer" US slang.

US slang??? As Dr. Zachary Smith would sayIn-deed!
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