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]

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.