What does the idiom "hit the sack" mean?

The phrase hit the sack is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of hit the sack.

Meaning of "hit the sack"


The idiom "hit the sack" is used to refer to going to sleep, usually for the night. It is an informal phrase and can be used in contexts in which it is obvious what the speaker means.


The origin of this phrase is not clear. It is believed to have originated in the United States in the mid-20th century, and may have derived from the work of the American author Mark Twain, who used the term "hit the hay" to refer to sleeping. Another possible origin is the phrase "hit the sacking", which was used in the 19th century in reference to soldiers sleeping on a bed of straw or straw sacks.


The phrase "hit the sack" is generally used in informal settings, such as among friends and family. It can be used in a joking manner to refer to someone who is overly tired and needs to go to bed, or it can be used to express the speaker's own intention to go to sleep. It is also sometimes used to refer to taking a nap.

Example Sentences

  • I'm so tired, I think I'm going to hit the sack.
  • It's getting late, I think it's time to hit the sack.
  • After such a long day, I'm ready to hit the sack.

The meanings of the words in the "hit the sack" idiom

Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms

Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.


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