office


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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

do a land-office business

To sell something very successfully. Stores that sell shovels and rock salt always do a land-office business after the prediction of a snowstorm.
See also: business

the front office

The management of an organization, usually a business. Don't ask me—all the decisions get made by the front office. The front office is expected to make a lot of personnel changes in the offseason.
See also: front, office

be doing a land-office business

To be selling something very successfully. Because we sell shovels and rock salt, we're doing a land-office business after that prediction of a snowstorm.
See also: business

good offices

Aid or support given to others, often from a position of influence. My English teacher's good offices helped me to get me an internship at the local newspaper.
See also: good, office

just another day at the office

Another in a series of typical, ordinary days, especially in the context of work. (Often used to highlight that one's typical day consists of things not normal for most people.) A: "How was your day, dear?" B: "Oh, just another day at the office—customers screaming at me on the phone, employees coming up with excuses instead of getting their work done, the usual. During the team's peak, each win seemed like just another day at the office. Now that they've fallen so far in the ranks, every win feels hard earned.
See also: another, just, office

through (one's) good offices

formal Through someone's assistance or influence. It was through the State Department's good offices that we were able to locate our son in Cambodia. My uncle is great friends with the college dean, and it was through his good offices that I was able to get in despite my poor grades.
See also: good, office, through

through the good offices of (someone)

formal Through someone's assistance or influence. It was through the good offices of the State Department that we were able to locate our son in Cambodia. Through the good offices of my uncle, who is close friends with the college dean, I was able to get in despite my poor grades.
See also: good, of, office, through

land-office business

A very large volume of trade or business, especially when conducted in or over a short period of time. We always do a land-office business in camping tents in the weeks leading up to the local music festival.
See also: business

take office

To assume a position of political authority, especially one that is granted as the result of a public election. The controversial businesswoman had hardly taken office in the senate before becoming immediately embroiled in scandal. I promise that when I take office, I'm going to dedicate my time and energy to solving this city's homelessness crisis.
See also: office, take

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

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

be doing a land-office business

or

be doing land-office business

AMERICAN, OLD-FASHIONED
If a company is doing a land-office business or is doing land-office business, it is very successful. The Paradiso, one of the capital's newest and most luxurious clubs, was doing a land-office business. Scooter and bicycle dealers are doing land-office business. Note: In the United States before the Civil War, the government opened up land offices which sold rights to pieces of land in the West. So many people wanted to buy land to settle on that there were often long queues outside the offices before they opened in the morning.
See also: business

good offices

help and support, often given by exercising your influence.
2002 Daily Telegraph Mr Blair will demonstratively use his good offices to bring round the German and French leaders, thereby gaining prestige in Washington.
See also: good, office

just another day at the office

boring routine.
1997 Times Professional cricket has been reduced to just another day at the ‘office’.
See also: another, just, office

through somebody’s good ˈoffices

(formal) with somebody’s help: He eventually managed to find employment, through the good offices of a former colleague.
See also: good, office, through

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 ?
Mr Barnacle dated from a better time, when the country was not so parsimonious and the Circumlocution Office was not so badgered.
It being one of the principles of the Circumlocution Office never, on any account whatever, to give a straightforward answer, Mr Barnacle said, 'Possibly.
Having got to this pass, he resolved as an exercise in perseverance, to betake himself again to the Circumlocution Office, and try what satisfaction he could get there.
Arthur Clennam, who now felt that he had devoted himself to the storming of the Circumlocution Office, and must go through with it, accompanied the messenger to another floor of the building, where that functionary pointed out Mr Wobbler's room.
They seemed, however, to be more directly concerned than the others had been in the effective execution of the great principle of the office, as there was an awful inner apartment with a double door, in which the Circumlocution Sages appeared to be assembled in council, and out of which there was an imposing coming of papers, and into which there was an imposing going of papers, almost constantly; wherein another gentleman, number four, was the active instrument.
With which instruction to number two, this sparkling young Barnacle took a fresh handful of papers from numbers one and three, and carried them into the sanctuary to offer to the presiding Idol of the Circumlocution Office.
How there had been a final interview with the head of the Circumlocution Office that very morning, and how the Brazen Head had spoken, and had been, upon the whole, and under all the circumstances, and looking at it from the various points of view, of opinion that one of two courses was to be pursued in respect of the business: that was to say, either to leave it alone for evermore, or to begin it all over again.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of impeachment.
A government clerk," replied Antoine, gravely, "is a man who sits in a government office and writes.
The first to arrive after Sebastien was a clerk of deeds in Rabourdin's office named Phellion, a respectable family-man.
He intended to put his eldest son into a government office and his second into the Ecole Polytechnique.
After the office closed he appeared in the great walk of the Tuileries, with a tooth-pick in his mouth, as though he were a millionaire who had just dined.
On good terms with des Lupeaulx, with whom in society he stood on an equality, and intimate with du Bruel, he was a living proof of Rabourdin's theory as to the steady deterioration of the administrative hierarchy in Paris through the personal importance which a government official may acquire outside of a government office.
At the office he kept in the background, doing his allotted task with the collected air of a man who thinks and suffers.