the business

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be the business

To be exceptionally great, excellent, high-quality, or skillful. Primarily heard in UK, Ireland. Have you ever tried the pistachio gelato at this place? It's the absolute business! I'm so crazy about the girl I've started seeing. I think she's the business, and I don't care who knows it! Wow, this singer is really the business, isn't she?
See also: business


1. informal Severe repudiation, scorn, or scolding. I know I'm going to get the business when my boss finds out I lost our most lucrative account. Johnny's parents gave him the business after he ran their car into a ditch.
2. informal That which needs to be done or accomplished in a particular situation. You can always count on Rebecca to do the business if a situation has gone awry. OK, that's enough goofing around. Let's get down to business!
3. euphemism Urination or defecation. There aren't any toilets where we'll be camping, so you'll have to do your business out in the woods. Make sure the dog does its business outside.
4. vulgar slang Sexual activity. If you're not giving your lady the business each night, then she'll start looking for it somewhere else. C'mon, baby, let's go back to my room and do the business!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the business

1. Verbal abuse, scolding, or teasing; also, a beating. For example, At boarding school new kids always get the business, or The boxer faked and then gave his opponent the business. [Slang; c. 1940]
2. A harsh interrogation, as in The detectives gave each suspect the business. [Slang; c. 1940]
3. Dismissal from work or jilting, as in Once the new management takes over I'm sure to get the business, or Dorothy gave him the business and married someone else. [Slang; c. 1940]
See also: business
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.
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References in classic literature ?
The little account, about which we quarreled and finally parted, cannot, in any item, be thought overcharged, by gentlemen really conversant with the nature of the business. Upon this point, however, I feel a degree of proud satisfaction in permitting the reader to judge for himself.
He had done his part, and it now remained for men of different abilities to take up his telephone and adapt it to the uses and conditions of the business world.
He decided that the time had come to organize the business, so he created a simple agreement which he called the "Bell Telephone Association." This agreement gave Bell, Hubbard and Sanders a three-tenths interest apiece in the patents, and Watson one-tenth.
A disheartening series of rebuffs slowly forced the truth in upon Sanders's mind that the business world refused to accept the telephone as an article of commerce.
Guest and myself to make some acknowledgment of the service you've been to us; and, backed by your general conduct and business ability, it has made us determine on giving you a share in the business,--a share which we shall be glad to increase as the years go on.
Guest and you, sir; of course I feel the most indebted to you , who first took me into the business, and have taken a good deal of pains with me since."
"He's taking to drinking, and they say he's letting the business go down.
It was told me by the Bank that the gentleman would explain to me the details of the business, and that I must prepare myself to find them of a surprising nature.
Stated briefly, the business of the firm was of the widely miscellaneous sort.
The share of his partners in the business was of the most trifling nature.
The business men and financiers of the Pacific coast never forgot the lesson of Charles Klinkner and the California & Altamont Trust Company.
He tore the veils of illusion from the business game, and saw its nakedness.
For men's eyes are upon the business, and not upon the persons; or if upon the persons, it is for the business' sake, as fittest, and not for flags and pedigree.
In short, all the business of the country went through the Circumlocution Office, except the business that never came out of it; and its name was Legion.
You'll find out when the business passes through each of these stages by asking at both Departments till they tell you.'