give (someone) the business

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give (someone) the business

1. slang To subject someone to harsh treatment, teasing, mockery, or verbal harassment. The older players on the team are always giving younger players the business. Protesters gave the defendant the business as he left the court today.
2. slang To severely scold, punish, or rebuke someone. I know my boss is going to give me the business when she finds out I lost our most lucrative account. Jimmy's parents gave him the business after he broke the living room lamp.
3. slang To kill someone. The boss told Ray to give the informant the business.
See also: business, give

give someone the business

1. tv. to harass someone; to scold someone. The guys have been giving me the business about my haircut.
2. tv. to kill someone. (Underworld.) Lefty wanted to give Rocko the business for being so damn perfect.
See also: business, give, someone