To get it in the neck

to get it in the neck meaning

Photo credit: abcnews.go.com

Recently I started volunteering at a small fairtrade shop (don’t ask me why people work in shops and I only get to volunteer), mostly to make sure I don’t unlearn social skills and to have a good source of new words and expressions. On my first day I was rewarded with a good few of them.

As we were closing the shop, the manager said it was important to switch all the lights and heating off, otherwise she would get it in the neck. The meaning is not hard to guess, it means to get punished or criticized for something.

Below are some examples of this informal expression:

– Somehow or other, the poor manage to get it in the neck. Last year Congress passed legislation enabling states to give money to families that were either on welfare or about to be because they couldn’t buy child care. Wonderful! But those same families are now about to discover that the kind of child care they can buy, whether in a private home or a large day care center, has a green light to be lousy (New York Times).

– Liberals get it in the neck for their sober-sided virtue, since “one of the greatest menaces” is “people with intelligence deciding that the point is to become grimly grey and intense and unhappy, and tiresome because the world and many of its people are in a bad way.” (The Economist).

– If, on the other hand, despite Mr Blair’s willingness to offer something for very little in return, there is no deal, it will be he, not the real villain of the piece, Jacques Chirac, who will get it in the neck from the other 24 member countries (The Economist).

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