The origins of 5 terms related to employment status

Explore the provenance and derivation of these workplace words we’re all hearing plenty of lately.

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We use scores of different terms to describe a change in employment.

Each word has a specific connotation—and an interesting backstory.

Let’s dive into the origins of these five terms related to one’s employment status:

Occasionally, it is used in reference to an end to employment in a civilian capacity as a euphemism when one is fired, or let go from employment, because of unsatisfactory performance or a violation of employment policies. Termination is also used, but it has an unpleasant connotation of impersonal indifference (and a wry association with the sense, for the term, of “death”).

Interestingly, fired has no noun equivalent; one does not write, for example, “He has initiated seven fires in his department since he was placed in charge.” (One would write “He has fired seven people in his department since he was placed in charge.”)

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