The phrase "get the can" can have multiple meanings, literally and figuratively. The expression might mean being dismissed from a job or obtaining a container. It can hold different interpretations depending on the context.
- "Get the can" could mean being fired from a job.
- It can also simply refer to fetching a container or can.
The phrase “get the can” can be a bit puzzling. It can mean getting dismissed from one's work, like the saying "get the boot." Alternatively, it can be taken straightforwardly: obtaining a can or container.
Let's dive into its core meanings and how it's used:
The term “canned,” meaning “fired” or “dismissed from a job,” appears to have originated in the early 20th century. The term “can” was used to mean “put up in cans” from 1860, and by 1905, it had evolved to mean "fire an employee." This could be related to the idea of being sealed away or preserved, much like food in a can. However, the exact origin of this usage is not clear. Remember that language evolves, and words can take on new meanings based on societal changes and trends. For example, in British English, “to get canned” has also been used to mean "to get very drunk." This shows how the same term can have different connotations in different cultures or contexts.
" I couldn't see how much gas I had in the other can when Mr. Graham and Mr. Nieman came to the building; didn't get the can full."
- Reports of Cases in Law and Equity Determined in the Supreme Court of the State of Iowa, 1936
To give you a clearer idea about when to use this idiom, let's explore some examples from various scenarios:
Though not as prevalent as some idioms, "get the can" has had its moments in pop culture, particularly in relation to job dismissal.
Let's explore some instances:
Various other expressions convey a similar meaning to "get the can," especially in the context of job dismissal.
Here are some of them:
"Get the can" literally refers to receiving or being given a can. However, figuratively, it often means to be dismissed from a job or to be fired.
When using it in a figurative sense related to employment, you might say: "Due to the weather disrupting multiple outdoor events, the event coordinator feared he'd get the can." If using it literally, you might say: "Please get the can of coffee to recycle."
While "get the can" might be understood, particularly in the context of employment, it's not as common as other phrases like "get fired" or "get the boot."
While often used in the context of job dismissal, the phrase can also be used literally to refer to obtaining a can or container. Context is key in understanding its usage.
Typically, in the figurative sense related to employment, it carries a negative connotation. However, in its literal sense, there's no inherent positive or negative meaning.
The exact origins are unclear, but it's likely an evolution from phrases like "kick the can" or "get the boot," both of which have ties to dismissal or rejection.
While it might be understood in English-speaking countries, its recognition and use might vary. Phrases like "get sacked" or "get fired" are more universally understood.
It's generally considered informal, especially when referring to job dismissal. In formal contexts, it's better to use more direct terms like "dismissed" or "terminated."
Yes, phrases like "get the boot," "get sacked," "get laid off," and "get fired" all convey similar sentiments of job termination.
It's natural to feel disappointed or upset. It's essential to stay calm, seek feedback if possible, and consider it an opportunity for growth or a new beginning in another job or field.
The phrase "get the can" primarily revolves around the theme of job dismissal, but it's essential to understand its context. Depending on the situation, it might have a literal meaning or convey the unfortunate event of job termination.
Here's a quick recap: