set up shop

set up shop


  1. a retail store, especially a small one.
  2. a small store or department in a large store selling a specific or select type of goods: the ski shop at Smith’s.
  3. the workshop of a craftsperson or artisan.
  4. the workshop of a person who works in a manual trade; place for doing specific, skilled manual work: a carpenter’s shop.
  5. any factory, office, or business: Our ad agency is a well-run shop.
  6. Education.
    1. a course of instruction in a trade, as carpentry, printing, etc., consisting chiefly of training in the use of its tools and materials.
    2. a classroom in which such a course is given.
  7. one’s trade, profession, or business as a subject of conversation or preoccupation.

verb (used without object), shopped, shop·ping.

  1. to visit shops and stores for purchasing or examining goods.
  2. to seek or examine goods, property, etc., offered for sale: Retail merchants often stock their stores by shopping in New York.
  3. to seek a bargain, investment, service, etc. (usually followed by for): I’m shopping for a safe investment that pays good interest.

verb (used with object), shopped, shop·ping.

  1. to seek or examine goods, property, etc., offered for sale in or by: She’s shopping the shoe stores this afternoon.
  2. Chiefly British Informal.
    1. to put into prison; jail.
    2. to behave treacherously toward; inform on; betray.
  3. Slang. to try to sell (merchandise or a project) in an attempt to obtain an order or contract.


  1. (used in a store, shop, etc., in calling an employee to wait on a customer.)


  1. set up shop, to go into business; begin business operations: to set up shop as a taxidermist.
  2. shut up shop,
    1. to close a business temporarily, as at the end of the day.
    2. to suspend business operations permanently: They couldn’t make a go of it and had to shut up shop.
  3. talk shop, to discuss one’s trade, profession, or business: After dinner we all sat around the table and talked shop.


  1. a place, esp a small building, for the retail sale of goods and services
  2. an act or instance of shopping, esp household shoppingthe weekly shop
  3. a place for the performance of a specified type of work; workshop
  4. all over the shop informal
    1. in disarrayhis papers were all over the shop
    2. in every directionI’ve searched for it all over the shop
  5. shut up shop
    1. to close business at the end of the day or permanently
    2. to become defensive or inactive
  6. talk shop to speak about one’s work, esp when meeting socially, sometimes with the effect of excluding those not similarly employed

verb shops, shopping or shopped

  1. (intr often foll by for) to visit a shop or shops in search of (goods) with the intention of buying them
  2. (tr) slang, mainly British to inform on or betray, esp to the police

n.c.1300, “booth or shed for trade or work,” perhaps from Old English scoppa, a rare word of uncertain meaning, apparently related to scypen “cowshed,” from Proto-Germanic *skoppan “small additional structure” (cf. Old High German scopf “building without walls, porch,” German dialectal Scopf “porch, cart-shed, barn,” German Schuppen “a shed”), from root *skupp-. Or the Middle English word was acquired from Old French eschoppe “booth, stall” (Modern French échoppe), which is a Germanic loan-word from the same root. Meaning “building or room set aside for sale of merchandise” is from mid-14c. Meaning “schoolroom equipped for teaching vocational arts” is from 1914, American English. Sense of “matters pertaining to one’s trade” is from 1814 (as in talk shop (v.), 1860). v.1680s, “to bring something to a shop, to expose for sale,” from shop (n.). The meaning “to visit shops for the purpose of examining or purchasing goods” is first attested 1764. Related: Shopped; shopping. Shop around is from 1922. Shopping cart is recorded from 1956; shopping list first attested 1913; transferred and figurative use is from 1959. Open a business, start a profession, as in Now that you’ve got your degree, where do you plan to set up shop? This idiom was first recorded about 1570. In addition to the idiom beginning with shop

  • shop around
  • also see:

  • bull in a china shop
  • close up (shop)
  • set up (shop)
  • shut up (shop)
  • talk shop
  • 49 queries 0.454