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back office

The section of a business or company that is responsible for managing internal affairs (such as administration, information technology, and so on) and thus generally does not have contact with clients, customers, or the general public. You should ask one of the people in the back office for help with your computer. I spent so many years as part of the bank's back office that now I'm not sure I know the appropriate way to talk to a customer.
See also: back, office

box office

1. The place where one may purchase tickets to a performance, such as a film, play, concert, etc.; usually located within the venue. You can purchase your tickets online, but if you'd like to pay in cash, you can buy them at our box office.
2. A show's or performance's overall financial success as measured by ticket sales, usually used in the form "at the box office." Though it was critically acclaimed as the summer's best movie, it didn't do very well at the box office.
See also: box, office

box-office bomb

A film that performs very poorly in ticket sales, earning less than the cost of production. After its third box-office bomb in a row, the film studio was forced to close down.
See also: bomb

Can I see you in my office?

A request to speak privately in an office, typically said by a boss or superior, perhaps because one is going to be reprimanded. A: "Can I see you in my office?" B: "Oh man. Is this because I lost that account?"
See also: can, see

Could I see you in my office?

 and Can I see you in my office?
I want to talk to you in the privacy of my office. (Typically said by a supervisor to a lower-ranking employee.) "Mr. Franklin," said Bill's boss sort of sternly, "Could I see you in my office for a minute? We need to talk about something."
See also: could, see

do a land-office business

Fig. to do a large amount of buying or selling in a short period of time. The icecream shop always does a land-office business on a hot day. The tax collector's office did a land-office business on the day that taxes were due.
See also: business

force someone out of office

 and drive someone out of office; drive someone out; force someone out
to drive someone out of an elective office. The city coun­ il forced out the mayor, who resigned under pressure. Please resign immediately, or I'll have to drive you out.
See also: force, of, office, out

land-office business

Fig. a large amount of business done in a short period of time. We always do a land-office business at this time of year. We keep going. Never do land-office business—just enough to make out.
See also: business

take office

to begin serving as an elected or appointed official. When did the mayor take office? All the elected officials took office just after the election.
See also: office, take

the front office

the managers of a company The front office has decided to cut back on technical staff. (American)
See also: front, office

do a land-office business

  (American old-fashioned)
if a company does a land-office business, they are very successful in selling their product They only set up the company eight months ago and they're doing a land-office business.
See also: business

box office

1. The office where seats for a play, concert, or other form of entertainment may be purchased, as in Tickets are available at the box office. It is so called because originally (17th century) it was the place for hiring a box, a special compartment of theater seats set aside for ladies. [Second half of 1700s]
2. The financial receipts from a performance; also, a show's relative success in attracting a paying audience. For example, You may not consider it great art, but this play is good box office. [c. 1900]
See also: box, office

front office

The policy-making or executive individuals in an organization, as in I'll have to check with the front office before I can give you a discount. This term was originally underworld slang for police headquarters or the main detective bureau. It soon was extended to other administrative offices and their personnel. [c. 1900]
See also: front, office

land-office business

A thriving, expanding, or very profitable concern or volume of trade. For example, After the storm they did a land-office business in snow shovels and rock salt. This term, dating from the 1830s, alludes to the throng of applicants to government land offices through which Western lands were sold. It has been used for other booming business since the mid-1800s.
See also: business

take office

Assume an official position or employment, as in The new chair takes office after the first of the year. [Mid-1800s]
See also: office, take

I gave at the office

An explanation for not contributing to a cause or organization, or an excuse not to donate or participate in anything. Campaigns for civic and charitable causes like the Red Cross and Community Chest were once far more prevalent at places of business than they now are, and people routinely made donations. Someone who was approached at home or elsewhere could have a valid excuse of “I gave through the office.”By extension, the phrase came to be used to slough off any kind of request. For example, someone who asked for a $20 loan might have been met with “Sorry, I gave at the office.” An old chestnut of a joke tells about the man who was lost on a camping trip. Rescuers scoured the wilderness until a medical emergency team finally spotted a solitary figure across a wide chasm. “Charlie Smith,” someone shouted,” “is that you?” “Yes, it is,” came the reply. “Who are you?” “We're from the Red Cross.” “I gave through the office!” Charlie shouted back.
See also: gave, office
References in classic literature ?
What could I do but tell Miss Mills, with grateful looks and fervent words, how much I appreciated her good offices, and what an inestimable value I set upon her friendship!
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
If you had been good and had gone back to your office, I would have brought you down some cake and cocoa.
for all the evening she had been comparing her home and her father and mother with the Suffrage office and the people there.
She's a trim little good-looker," was his verdict, when the outer office door closed on her.
It was a new experience, the first time he had been inside an editorial office.
I can tell you (this is, of course, strictly between ourselves) that the authorities at my office took his advice in a Government case that puzzled the police.
The solicitors employed by her husband are also the solicitors to one of the two insurance offices.
On the first floor, divided in two by an entresol, were the living rooms and office of Monsieur Ernest de la Briere, an occult and powerful personage who must be described in a few words, for he well deserves the parenthesis.
Had I such a suit, I might at once find out what men in my realms are unfit for their office, and also be able to distinguish the wise from the foolish
But it was barely finished and still understaffed; only three tenants had moved in; the office just above Flambeau was occupied, as also was the office just below him; the two floors above that and the three floors below were entirely bare.
Pitcher, confidential clerk in the office of Harvey Maxwell, broker, allowed a look of mild interest and surprise to visit his usually expressionless countenance when his employer briskly entered at half past nine in company with his young lady stenographer.
The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being told) the most important Department under Government.
The offence had been committed within the district, and indeed in the immediate neighborhood of, a very notorious metropolitan police office.