A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/27)
“If I had a dollar for every existential crisis I’ve ever had…does money even matter?” (6/27)
“Keep your cymbal jokes to yourself. We’ve heard them all a Zildjian times” (6/27)
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Entry from February 11, 2015
“Show the door” (to dismiss; a forced exit)

To “show someone the door” is to dismiss that person. A drunk at a bar who is “shown the door” is asked or forced to leave the establishment. A business executive who is “shown the door” is forced out of the company. The idiomatic expression does not always require the presence of a physical door.

“For this enquiry he was shown the door by the chairman!” was cited in print in 1825. “Those who are unworthy to remain should be shown the door without ceremony, and without pay” was cited in 1848.


Wiktionary: show someone the door
Verb
show somebody the door

1. (idiomatic) To escort someone to the exit of the premises; to expel someone from a room, gathering, etc.
2. (idiomatic, by extension, especially of a person) To dismiss or reject; to exclude someone who was formerly included.

21 February 1825, The Reporter (Washington, PA), “The New System,” pg. 2, col. 2: 
For this enquiry he was shown the door by the chairman!

5 March 1836, Gloucester (MA) Telegraph, pg. 2, col. 1,
To the honor, patriotism, and intelligence of Mr. Marchant, the proffered bribe was rejected with disdain, and the tool of the wretched faction was shown the door.

6 May 1848, Daily Chronicle & Sentinel (Augusta, GA), “Half-Pay Officers—Poor Jack and Gun Brigs,” pg. 2, col. 2:
I think officers who mean well but are ineffective would be well treated if they were given a year’s extra pay and advised to look out for themselves; while those who are unworthy to remain should be shown the door without ceremony, and without pay. They ought to be satisfied with what they have got already.

7 August 1885, New-York (NY) Daily Tribune, pg. 4, col. 3:
MR. KEILEY SHOWN THE DOOR.
The refusal of the Austrian Government to receive Mr. Keiley is now definitely announced. The State Department is not informed of the reasons for this action, but the fact is no longer disputed.

22 March 1919, St. Albans (VT) Messenger, pg. 2, col. 3:
CHARLES SHOWN THE DOOR.
Former Austrian Emperor Is Told a Hasty Exit Is Desirable.

Google Books
I Break Strikes!
By Edward Levinson
New York, NY: R.M. McBride & Co.
1936
Pg. 133:
Waddell had obtained an interview with McNaughton, but had been “shown the door,” the Detroit Free Press said.

OCLC WorldCat record
A Wake-Up Call: Unproductive senior partners are increasingly being shown the door by a younger generation of firm members who are redefining profits and the bottom line
Author: J Schachner Chanen
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: ABA JOURNAL, 83, (June 1997): 68-73
Database: British Library Serials

OCLC WorldCat record
Special Report - THE FALLEN - Execs who were shown the door
Publisher: [New York, etc., McGraw-Hill]
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Business week. (January 13, 2003): 52
Database: ArticleFirst

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, February 11, 2015 • Permalink