Wednesday 4 November 2009

The Axe

I read with alarm that thousands of employees at RBS, HSBC and Johnson & Johnson are to be axed in rounds of “corporate bloodletting”. Even celebrity disc jockeys are not safe from such acts of violence – according to today’s Daily Mail, the “loudmouth DJ” Chris Moyles is also “facing the axe”.

In real life, nobody refers to “axing” (or indeed, “slashing”) employees. Cutting jobs, possibly. Redundancies, firings, sackings – certainly. Even, in management-speak, rationalisation or reducing headcount. But fortunately the axe-wielding chief executive is a figure seldom seen outside the gore-spattered pages of our national press.

Reducing the headcount


  1. It's a surfing expression, like we'd take the big gun down Encino and in the green room someone'd get axed.

    Back then they'd say it in Carlsbad and Ocean Beach too, not too sure about up the Kokomos or the islands. Heard it said by an Australian fellow too, hot dog velvet beaver tail kind of said it funny.

    See "Gidget, the Girl with the Big Ideas" page 16 ('57 edition).

  2. I was going to comment that perhaps when a journalist loses his job he goes home and says: 'Darling, I've been axed', but was diverted by Martin's extraordinary comment. Hot dog velvet beaver tail, indeed. (*strokes imaginary beard thoughtfully*)