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
References in periodicals archive ?
The new location will give the business more kitchen space to prepare food for both the new drive-through restaurant and the lunch truck, which will continue to serve food at its current spot.
In an age when music has a tendency to take itself just a little too seriously, Terrorvision are back to give the business a kick in the pants.
Hall manager Alan Smith said: "We decided to give the business community the chance to hire the ice rink either for corporate hospitality or for a night out."
I am prepared to give the business away to the right person
To give the business units more responsibility, shorten lines of communication and optimize corporate synergies, only one level of authority - the corporate management holding - will be placed over the business unit.
The aim, of course, is to buy time--to give the business an opportunity to raise some cash and get its operations on a better financial footing.