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*busy as a beaver (building a new dam)

 and *busy as a bee; *busy as a one-armed paperhanger; *busy as Grand Central Station; *busy as a cat on a hot tin roof; *busy as a fish peddler in Lent; *busy as a cranberry merchant (at Thanksgiving); *busy as popcorn on a skillet
very busy. (*Also: as ~.) My boss keeps me as busy as a one-armed paperhanger. I don't have time to talk to you. I'm as busy as a beaver. When the tourist season starts, this store is busy as Grand Central Station. Sorry I can't go to lunch with you. I'm as busy as a beaver building a new dam. Prying into other folks' business kept him busy as popcorn on a skillet.
See also: beaver, busy

a merchant of doom

someone who is always saying that bad things are going to happen With exports rising and unemployment falling, the merchants of doom are having to revise their economic predictions.
See also: doom, merchant, of

busy as a beaver

Also, busy as a bee. Hardworking, very industrious, as in With all her activities, Sue is always busy as a bee, or Bob's busy as a beaver trying to finish painting before it rains. The comparison to beavers dates from the late 1700s, the variant from the late 1300s. Also see eager beaver; work like a beaver.
See also: beaver, busy

speed merchant

n. someone who does something fast: a runner, pitcher, swimmer, driver, etc. What a pitch! That guy is a speed merchant for sure.
See also: merchant, speed
References in classic literature ?
Poking and burrowing into the heaped-up rubbish in the corner, unfolding one and another document, and reading the names of vessels that had long ago foundered at sea or rotted at the wharves, and those of merchants never heard of now on 'Change, nor very readily decipherable on their mossy tombstones; glancing at such matters with the saddened, weary, half-reluctant interest which we bestow on the corpse of dead activity -- and exerting my fancy, sluggish with little use, to raise up from these dry bones an image of the old towns brighter aspect, when India was a new region, and only Salem knew the way thither -- I chanced to lay my hand on a small package, carefully done up in a piece of ancient yellow parchment.
The merchant, protesting his innocence, bewailed his wife and children, and tried pitifully to avert his fate.
I heard to-day at Pisa That certain of the English merchants there Would sell their woollens at a lower rate Than the just laws allow, and have entreated The Signory to hear them.
It was not until the year 1766, that the trade regained its old channels; but it was then pursued with much avidity and emulation by individual merchants, and soon transcended its former bounds.
On the other side, the commodities of usury are, first, that howsoever usury in some respect hindereth merchandizing, yet in some other it advanceth it; for it is certain that the greatest part of trade is driven by young merchants, upon borrowing at interest; so as if the usurer either call in, or keep back, his money, there will ensue, presently, a great stand of trade.
Meantime little Heinel grew up, and as the end of the twelve years drew near the merchant began to call to mind his bond, and became very sad and thoughtful; so that care and sorrow were written upon his face.
But Father Sergius recovered immediately, and though very pale, he waved the merchant and the deacon aside and continued to chant the service.
His father, John Chaucer, was a London wine merchant.
The world shall know of the merchant Achmet no more, but the great treasure of the rajah shall be divided among us.
Within an hour the merchant, stroking his big overcoat neatly down, and hooding up his jacket, with the agreement in his pocket, seated himself in his tightly covered trap, and drove homewards.
During the ensuing days, while the preparations were going forward for the escape of the merchant, the zeal of Felix was warmed by several letters that he received from this lovely girl, who found means to express her thoughts in the language of her lover by the aid of an old man, a servant of her father who understood French.
At the Seventh Circle--but no matter for that: all the Circles are alike to the three young Misses, fair and fat,--at the Seventh Circle, nevertheless, my pupils are sticking fast; and I, to set them going again, recite, explain, and blow myself up red-hot with useless enthusiasm, when-- a creak of boots in the passage outside, and in comes the golden Papa, the mighty merchant with the naked head and the two chins.
This being regularly attested by a notary, and a procuration affixed, he directed me to send it, with a letter of his writing, to a merchant of his acquaintance at the place; and then proposed my staying with him till an account came of the return.
During my stay here many proposals were made for my return to England, but none falling out to my mind, the English merchant who lodged with me, and whom I had contracted an intimate acquaintance with, came to me one morning, saying: "Countryman, I have a project to communicate, which, as it suits with my thoughts, may, for aught I know, suit with yours also, when you shall have thoroughly considered it.
But after a while, the government persuaded this company of merchants to send the tea to America.