Don’t let the door hit you is a shortened rendering of an idiom with several variations. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the idiom don’t let the door hit you, some popular variations, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.
Don’t let the door hit you is a shorthand version of an idiom that means that someone is happy to see you go; that you are no longer welcome and that you should leave quickly. Don’t let the door hit you is another way of saying “good riddance.” There are several longer versions of the idiom, which include: 1.) Don’t let the door hit you on the way out; 2.) Don’t let the door hit you in the backside; and 3.) Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you. We don’t know exactly where these phrases came from, but we do know that they skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade of the twentieth century. A good guess is that the terms came from popular culture, perhaps from television, books or movies.
New York politicians have mocked Donald Trump‘s reported decision to declare himself a resident of Florida, telling the president: “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” (The Independent)
I say Goodbye to both, don’t let the door hit you in the backside. (The Boston Herald)
To all the people who say they are moving to Canada because Donald Trump was elected, don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you. (The Chicago Tribune)