land-office business, a(redirected from a 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
land-office business, a
A booming enterprise. This term dates from the 1830s and refers to local land offices of the U.S. government that registered applicants for purchasing government lands in the West. Although the government had been in the business of selling its land to settlers since Revolutionary times, from the 1820s on this business was greatly augmented and land offices saw long lines of applicants. By the mid-nineteenth century the term land-office business had been transferred to any fast-expanding or very profitable enterprise. Reporting on an election in 1875, the Chicago Tribune stated, “The taprooms adjoining the polls were all open and doing a land-office business.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer