In India, the phrase "put down one's papers" means to submit one's resignation at a workplace. Is this usage universal? I suspect this is Indian.

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    I have not heard it used very often in my area, or in print. (I am a native speaker of American English.) – Blue Magister Apr 13 '11 at 4:18
  • Yes it is commonly used in India but mainly in the IT industry - so I suspect you've heard this from fellow IT colleagues? it's not universal from what I know. – JoseK Apr 13 '11 at 6:56
  • though i'm not sure if "put in one's papers" has a more widespread usage – JoseK Apr 13 '11 at 7:56
  • It looks like even "put in one's papers" is Indian English. – MediumOne Apr 13 '11 at 10:42
  • I have heard and seen (in India) only put in one's papers, never "put down one's papers". – ShreevatsaR Nov 19 '11 at 17:41

Is this usage universal?

I've not ever heard or seen it used in the UK. People in the UK would mostly say "he gave notice", "he quit", "he resigned" or "he handed in his resignation".

  • Is there some meaning to the dagger you've put after UK, or is it just a mistake? – Colin Fine Apr 13 '11 at 17:12
  • @Colin Fine: It's a mistake, I was going to add a footnote as the sentence was a bit too categorical - but decided not to quibble with myself. – RedGrittyBrick Apr 14 '11 at 9:32
  • Same goes for the U.S. – Bob Aug 2 '12 at 17:24

Yes, this is “Made in India”. In fact I know the Indian guy who actually wordsmith this phrase. His name is Deepak Garg and he wordsmith this phrase when he resigned from his job in Bangalore in 2008. That time only he admitted to making up that phrase on his own.

Soon after he used that phrase, it was commonly used all over his workplace and gradually spread to the entire city.

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    @Neha Doshi - I have heard people using this phrase (put in papers) earlier than 2008. The first time I came across about this was in late 2005... nevertheless it's a slang and is in use only in India especially among the IT professionals.. – user24399 Aug 2 '12 at 15:50
  • Its like Gangnam style which is meaningless way to convey the actions (faceplam) – siva Feb 22 '18 at 4:32

I have heard this phrase used in India way back in 2003, when I resigned - my boss had asked me," Why are you putting in your papers?". So the usage must have started in early part of last decade, perhaps even earlier than that.

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