the 'business end' of the sea otter

< Previous | Next >

sophi979

Senior Member
Serbo-Croatian
Hi,
I know "business end" can mean the part of an instrument/tool that does the work, but what would it mean on a sea otter?

Here's the context:
A doctor is about to put an otter under for surgery. First they wrap it in a special protective cushion. The surgeon explains its purpose.

It gives us safety. It gives the animal something to focus on and to bite and it also keeps us several inches away from the business end of the sea otter.


Can it also mean the anus?
Is there another meaning of the phrase?

Thanks
 
  • mpatricksweeney

    Senior Member
    US (English)
    It could mean the anus-- and sometimes 'business end' is used euphemistically this way-- but can also mean simply the region of focus. If they are performing brain surgery on the otter, the head might be called the 'business end.' This isn't common or particularly clear, however.

    This also seems unlikely since, as surgeons, they would want to be closer to the surgical area, not at a distance.

    The meaning isn't very clear to me. Sorry.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    My first reaction was the anus. An animal about to be handled, wrapped and put under anaesthetic will most assuredly defecate. It would help to know what part of the otter was being operated on but I've only ever heard "business end" used to refer to the "ass end".
     

    sophi979

    Senior Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    My first reaction was the anus. An animal about to be handled, wrapped and put under anaesthetic will most assuredly defecate. It would help to know what part of the otter was being operated on but I've only ever heard "business end" used to refer to the "ass end".
    Sorry, Dimcl, I don't know what part they're operating on, but you've been very helpful. It's always reassuring to hear the explanation from a native speaker.

    Thank you all again :)
     

    Kevman

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The "business end" is the dangerous end, like the business end of a gun is the muzzle where the bullet comes out.

    Since the context suggests that there is a danger of being bitten, the business end of this otter is clearly its mouth.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top