pink slip

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From pink + slip (piece of paper), referring to the colour of the paper, in some cases as it was in past, and not necessarily present, practice.

  • (automobile title): Most likely from California, where the title is printed on a smaller index-card sized piece of pink paper; in other states the title is typically a full-size 8 1/2" x 11" sheet, usually printed on blue or blue-green paper with borders, similar to a stock certificate.


  • (file)


pink slip (plural pink slips)

  1. (idiomatic, metonymically, US) Notice of termination of employment.
    • 2003, Erica Orloff, Kathy Levinson, The 60-Second Commute: A Guide to Your 24/7 Home Office Life, page 139,
      Pink slips are being handed out faster in corporate America than you can say, “Recession? What recession?”
    • 2008, Chioma Isiadinso, The Best Business Schools' Admissions Secrets, page 4,
      From 2002 to 2004, many individuals received pink slips as a result of a slow economy.
    • 2008, Warren Richard Plunkett, Raymond F. Attner, Gemmy S. Allen, Management: Meeting and Exceeding Customer Expectations, Thomson, 9th Edition, page 400,
      Oracle chose a weekend in which to notify PeopleSoft employees of their termination: the company sent them pink slips via express mail.
  2. (US) The title document for an automobile.
    • 1997, Jacqueline Diamond, Million-Dollar Mommy, Harlequin, unnumbered page,
      But when she visited the bank, all she found inside were the pink slip to her car, a passport she′d acquired two years ago before a vacation trip to Australia and a few other documents.
  3. (Australia, New South Wales) An automobile roadworthiness inspection certificate.
    • 2001 March 21, Sharon, “Obtaining Pink Slip”, in, Usenet[1]:
      My car mechanic does the pink slip for my bike - he doesn't know anything about them but does know that I keep it in tip top condition.
    • 2002 March 3, Terry, “Pink slip inspection?”, in, Usenet[2]:
      If the car is still currently registered, then you can drive it to anyone, anywhere to get the pink slip. If its just out of registration ( within 3 months of the rego expiring) then you take it to the nearest one ( or so they say)
    • 2003, Margo Daly, Anne Dehne, Rough Guide to Australia, 6th Edition, page 194,
      Demand to see the pink slip (certificate of roadworthiness), as it proves the car is safe.


  • (employment termination notice): P45 (United Kingdom, Ireland)
  • (automobile title):
  • (automobile roadworthiness inspection certificate):

Related terms[edit]



pink slip (third-person singular simple present pink slips, present participle pink slipping, simple past and past participle pink slipped)

  1. (US, informal, transitive) To terminate the employment of.
    Synonyms: fire, let go, sack; see also Thesaurus:lay off
    • 1966, Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49, New York: Bantam Books, published 1976, →ISBN, page 84:
      After a week of anxiously watching the mailbox through little Japanese binoculars his wife had given him for a going-away present (she'd left him the day after he was pink-slipped) and getting nothing but sucker-list stuff through the regular deliveries that came each noon, he was jolted out of a boozy, black-and-white dream of jumping off The Stack into rush-hour traffic, by an insistent banging at the door.