Kiss off

Kiss off is an idiom that may not be as old as you think. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, 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 have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions that native speakers understand such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, chin up, eye to eye, barking up the wrong tree, hit the nail on the head, kicked the bucket, blow off steam, piece of cake, hit the sack, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. 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. We will examine the meaning of the idiom kiss off, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

To give someone the kiss off means to dismiss him contemptuously, to rudely and abruptly exclude someone from your social circle. Kiss off is used as a noun or a verb, related phrases are kisses off, kissed off, kissing off. The idiom kiss off is 1930s slang, though its origin is unclear. It may be related to gangster culture. It may be related to giving someone a goodbye kiss with the intention of never seeing that person again. The idiom kiss off is sometimes seen with a hyphen, as in kiss-off.


Powers returned to the North Carolina hometown he kissed off, moved in with his brother’s family and became a substitute gym teacher at his old middle school. (Chicago Tribune)

It’s the sort of bold kiss-off that one might expect from a tough-guy hard rock band, but here, it feels as much like cursing the heavens as cursing an ex. (The Charleston Post and Courier)

Whether she was vowing to an ex that she’s “never gonna take you back” in the kiss-off “Violins” or dissecting the notion of beauty in the vulnerable ballad “Pretty Shiny Things,” Ashton proved irresistible. (Rolling Stone Magazine)

A city judge kissed off a complaint Monday against an Uber driver accused of anti-gay bias for ejecting two smooching women from his car. (The New York Daily News)

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