Pound Sand – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did your brother tell you to go ‘pound sand’ when you asked for a turn on the PlayStation? This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression’ pound sand’ means ‘go away’ or ‘leave me alone.’ You’ll say it to someone when they make a request from you, and you don’t feel like complying. It means you find the other person’s request meaningless or pointless and don’t see any value in helping them out.

If you tell someone to ‘pound sand,’ you’re saying they need to find something else to do other than bother you or waste your time.

Example Usage

“I don’t care what you have to say. You can go pound sand for all I care. Just do me a favor and leave me alone, please.”

“Listen, guy, you can go pound sand. I’m not interested in listening to your pitch for your Ponzi scheme. Go away and let me be.”

“I’m telling you, you can go pound sand. I have no interest in what you’re selling, so stop trying o convince me otherwise. Just go away.”

“There’s no way I’m falling for that. You can go pound sand and leave me alone before I call the police on your little charade.”

“Okay, I’ve had enough. Shut up and go pound sand. If you don’t leave right now, I will have to physically remove you from the premises.”

“Just leave me alone and go pound sand. I don’t care if you’re overloaded with work, this isn’t in my job description, and I don’t have to listen to you.”

“I’m done with you. Go pound sand. I don’t care if you think you deserve more. I think you’re out of line. Stop putting up a front and leave me alone.”

“There’s no way I’m letting you play the game right now. I’m almost at the end. Why don’t you go pound sand or something.”

“You’ll never get this from me, no matter how hard you try. Go pound sand, twerp.”


The expression ‘pound sand’ originates from the mid-20th century. The term’s first appearance was in 1948, in an edition of the ‘Southeast Economist,’ as follows.

“From her store of memories, Mrs. Mary R. Stuart of Harvard Ave, the perpetrator of this column of sayings of wisecracks popular in the ‘Oh yeah?’ era, recalls that ‘go pound sand in your ears’ meant to soft-pedal the noise.”

The term experienced a rise in popularity during the late 1980s and 1990s, entering the mainstream as a popular way to tell people to leave you alone.

Phrases Similar to Pound Sand

  • Pack sand.
  • Be off with you.
  • Be on your way.
  • Leave me alone.

Phrases Opposite to Pound Sand

  • Tell me more.
  • That’s interesting.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Pound sand.

Ways People May Say Pound Sand Incorrectly

The phrase ‘pound sand’ doesn’t mean you want someone to go and physically pound sand. It’s a way of telling them to go away and leave you alone. The ‘pounding’ action is their speech or activities, and the sand refers to meaningless tasks or topics of conversation.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Pound Sand

You can tell someone to go ‘pound sand’ when they irritate you, and you want to get rid of them. Typically, it’s a retaliatory statement said to someone after they ask you to do something you don’t want to do or after they insult you. Depending on the conversation, the phrase can have a serious or mocking tone.

For instance, if your colleague asks you to do something for them at work, and you feel you don’t have to listen to their command, you could tell them to ‘pound sand.’ Or, if your partner tells you to wash the dishes, and you don’t feel like doing it, you could tell them to pound sand. Pounding sand can also refer to completing meaningless tasks that add no value to your experience.

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