I recently heard somebody say that they "gave at the office" in response to a request from some charity. It also seems to have a more general usage when refusing a request for help of any kind. What exactly does this phrase mean, and what is its etymology? Is it a very recent saying?
The phrase originated from the United Way's workplace giving programs. Many people actually did donate to charity at the office and the point was that the person had already donated to charity as much as they felt that they should donate, and thus there was no reason to ask them to donate more money. However, it is now generally considered a sarcastic way of saying "Go away, I'm not going to donate any money."