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back at (something or some place)

1. Having returned to some specific building. We should be back at our apartment by 9 PM. I wonder if Tom and the kids are already back at the house.
2. In some specific building that one has already left. Dang it, I forgot my briefcase back at the office.
3. Having returned to some activity, especially school or work, after a hiatus. Sarah's been out sick for a week, but she said she should be back at school on Monday. I really found it hard being back at work after such a long vacation.
See also: back

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

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 blizzard forecast.
See also: business

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

drive (one) out of office

To pressure one to resign or otherwise force one to leave or be removed from an authoritative position that one has been elected to. Do you think these accusations are credible or just an attempt to drive the mayor out of office? Now that we know Fred's involved in the scandal too, we need to drive him out of office.
See also: drive, of, office, out

force (one) out of office

To pressure one to resign or otherwise force one to leave or be removed from an authoritative position that one has been elected to. Do you think these accusations are credible or just an attempt to force the mayor out of office? Now that we know Fred's involved in the scandal too, we need to force him out of office.
See also: force, of, office, out

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

I gave at the office

A phrase used to decline giving money to someone or something, often to a charitable cause. A: "Mister, do you want to donate to my Scout troop?" B: "Sorry, sonny, I gave at the office." Hoo boy, I really wish I could help you out with some money, but I gave at the office.
See also: gave, 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 threatening to sue, employees trying to steal merchandise, 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

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

oust (one) from

1. To depose one; to force one to leave a place or position of power or authority. In a startling coup, the military has ousted the prime minister from office. A group of board members has met in secret to plot how to oust the CEO from the company.
2. To forcibly remove one from some place. Often used in passive constructions. We were ousted from the bar after the bartender saw we had fake IDs. The security guard ousted the loitering teenagers from the mall.
See also: oust

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

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

through (one's) good offices

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)

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

just another day at the office

A sarcastic description of an unusual event, usually but not always at a workplace. An online race car article by Kenny Bruce had, “Jimmie Johnson finally wins at Bristol and it’s just another day at the office for the four-time Sprint Cup champion” (March 21, 2010). Or, “A co-worker who was being let go vented his rage in a shooting spree—just another day at the office!”
See also: another, just, office

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

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
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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References in classic literature ?
Such a nursery of statesmen had the Department become in virtue of a long career of this nature, that several solemn lords had attained the reputation of being quite unearthly prodigies of business, solely from having practised, How not to do it, as the head of the Circumlocution Office. As to the minor priests and acolytes of that temple, the result of all this was that they stood divided into two classes, and, down to the junior messenger, either believed in the Circumlocution Office as a heaven-born institution that had an absolute right to do whatever it liked; or took refuge in total infidelity, and considered it a flagrant nuisance.
The Barnacle family had for some time helped to administer the Circumlocution Office. The Tite Barnacle Branch, indeed, considered themselves in a general way as having vested rights in that direction, and took it ill if any other family had much to say to it.
The Mr Tite Barnacle who at the period now in question usually coached or crammed the statesman at the head of the Circumlocution Office, when that noble or right honourable individual sat a little uneasily in his saddle by reason of some vagabond making a tilt at him in a newspaper, was more flush of blood than money.
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
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.
Perhaps an exact description of Monsieur de la Billardiere's division will suffice to give foreigners and provincials an idea of the internal manners and customs of a government office; the chief features of which are probably much the same in the civil service of all European governments.
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.
They knew how far to trust the clerks with loans of money, doing their various commissions with absolute discretion; they pawned and took out of pawn, bought up bills when due, and lent money without interest, albeit no clerk ever borrowed of them without returning a "gratification." These servants without a master received a salary of nine hundred francs a year; new years' gifts and "gratifications" brought their emoluments to twelve hundred francs, and they made almost as much money by serving breakfasts to the clerks at the office.
No one wished it to be noticed that he could see nothing, for then he would have been unfit for his office, or else very stupid.
If you had been good and had gone back to your office, I would have brought you down some cake and cocoa.'
I am no longer in your employment, but I do hope that in the circumstances you will forgive my entering your private office. Thinking over our situation just now an idea came to me by means of which I fancy we might be enabled to leave the building.'
He took up his pen, and wrote to his friend at the Government office. There was nothing for it now but to run the risk, and try Old Sharon.
Brownlow looked around the office as if in search of some person who would afford him the required information.
'Hold your tongue this instant, or I'll have you turned out of the office!' said Mr.
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