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send someone about his or her business

Also, send someone packing . Dismiss someone abruptly, as in They always ring the bell at suppertime, asking for signatures, but I send them about their business , or The owner caught Jack taking small items from the store and sent him packing . The first term, which in effect tells people to tend to their own affairs, was first recorded in 1768; the variant, alluding to telling people to pack their bags and leave, was first recorded in 1594. Also see send away
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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