business as usual
The normal course of some activity, as in The fire destroyed only a small section of the store, so it's business as usual. This term originated as an announcement that a commercial establishment was continuing to operate in spite of fire, construction, or some similar interruption. It had been extended to broader use by 1914, when Winston Churchill said in a speech: “The maxim of the British people is ‘Business as usual,’” which became a slogan for the rest of World War I. Today it may be used in this positive sense and also pejoratively, as in Never mind that most civilians are starving to death—the ministry regards its job to be business as usual. [Late 1800s]
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Words nearby business as usual
BEHIND THE PHRASE
What does business as usual mean?
Business as usual refers to a situation that’s proceeding as it normally does.
Business as usual is sometimes used to mock or criticize someone’s actions during a crisis or emergency, as in Despite the numerous scandals rocking the company, it was business as usual for the hapless CEO.
The phrase can also be used to refer to a return to normal activity after a problem or is solved or a crisis ends.
Example: The power outage was fixed last night and the neighborhood is back to business as usual today.
Where does business as usual come from?
The first records of the phrase business as usual come from the late 1800s. This phrase is thought to originate from stores announcing they would continue to operate as they usually did despite an emergency or interrupting event. By 1914, it was being used more generally when Winston Churchill used the phrase in a speech to encourage British citizens to act normally despite British involvement in World War I.
The business in business as usual does not have to be boring or mundane, only usual or customary. For a sports team that usually wins its games, winning is business as usual.
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What are some synonyms for business as usual?
What are some words that share a root or word element with business as usual?
What are some words that often get used in discussing business as usual?
How is business as usual used in real life?
Business as usual is used to describe normal activity. It’s sometimes used in a mocking or critical way to refer to chaotic situations that have come to be expected as the norm.
I predict a big day for looking at Twitter and screaming. So, pretty much business as usual.
— Joe Berkowitz (@JoeBerkowitz) November 3, 2020
How are most people with kids handling trick or treating? Business as usual or have you altered your plans?
— Jody Smith (@JodySmithNFL) October 31, 2020
I forget sometimes that with a Cat 2 hurricane about to hit New Orleans and the rest of Southeast Louisiana… that it’s business as usual across the rest of the country.
Kinda like Mardi Gras day… except not as fun.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) October 28, 2020
Try using business as usual!
Is business as usual used correctly in the following sentence?
Despite a horde of kittens invading the store, it was business as usual and the employees acted as if the fuzzy trespassers weren’t there.
Example sentences from the Web for business as usual
I was a little mystified at how benignly he responded to my questions about his business activities.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The judges who handle arraignments at criminal court in all five boroughs have a small fraction of their usual caseloads.
This reporter knocked at the Wilkins home on Tuesday morning but received neither an answer nor the business end of a shotgun.The 7-Year-Old Plane Crash Survivor’s Brutal Journey Through the Woods|James Higdon|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
“Competition is there, of course, but I think there is enough business for everyone as long as the demand is there,” he says.
Last March they gave Airbus a huge piece of new business, ordering 169 A320s and 65 of the slightly larger A321.Annoying Airport Delays Might Prevent You From Becoming the Next AirAsia 8501|Clive Irving|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
He remembered something—the cherished pose of being a man plunged fathoms-deep in business.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
We had six field-pieces, but we only took four, harnessed wit twice the usual number of horses.
A letter from Fajardo to the king (December 10, 1621) concerns various matters of administration and business.
As usual the dinner was recherché, for the Pandemonium chef enjoyed a world-wide reputation.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills
This habit and the fact that she cares more for color than for drawing are the usual criticisms of her pictures.Women in the fine arts, from the Seventh Century B.C. to the Twentieth Century A.D.|Clara Erskine Clement