pink-slip party
n. A party where each attendee is a person who has recently lost their job, particularly because of a failed or downsized dot-com company.
Also Seen As
Failure chic has spawned a cottage industry of failurenalia. Academics are writing books about failing. The VH-1 and E! Entertainment cable channels have shown programs about it. An Internet marketing firm called sponsors pink-slip parties where casualties can get together and 'dot-commiserate.'
—Abby Ellin, “If at First You Don't Succeed, Celebrate!,” The New York Times, August 20, 2000
1987 (earliest)
In February, two months after Canadian developer Campeau Corp. announced it would merge Jordan Marsh stores and Maas Brothers…500 Jordan employees in Miami held a lighthearted Pink Slip party.
—Bonnie Welch, “The Competition Gets Tougher All the Time,” Florida Trend, April 15, 1987
The name for these surely lugubrious fetes goes back to least the mid-80s (see the earliest citation). We see a few sporadic sightings through the late 80s leading up to the recession, but it doesn't take off until August of this year, when the dot-com downturn was in full effect. Apparently you just can't keep a good geek down.