In older feudalistic cultures, when a person or family was expelled from the clan for being a pariah or for breaking the rules, the community would help motivate them to leave by burning down their hut.

Thus the origin of the term "fired."

The best example I can find of this is in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. After accidentally injuring his best friend, the tribe expelled him. His family rushed to pack and leave. By sundown his hut was torched, and he was not spoken of again.

Another case of this was John Steinbeck's The Pearl, though there was less of a reason to burn his dwelling down.

Some cultures in Africa did or still do this. In feudalistic Japan, this was common, but worse. If you messed up with the group, you were kicked out. But no other group would take you in because they knew what you did. Essentially, you died. I'm assuming the term "fired" came from a feudal European source.

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