at it
   engaged in some taboo activity
   In appropriate circumstances, the phrase can apply to anything from picking your nose to bestiality. In the East End of London, it usually refers to being a villain; elsewhere is may indicate sexual activity:
    At least one of his uncles is 'at it', as they say, and drives around in a silver-grey Mercedes. (Read, 1979, of a habitual thief) Shit, for all he knew they could have been at it in Paris right from the beginning. (Winton, 1994, of homosexuality)

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

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  • At it — At At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • at it — {adj. phr.} Busily doing something; active. * /His rule for success was to keep always at it./ * /The couple who owned the little cleaning shop were at it early and late./ * /Mr. Curtis heard a loud crash in the next apartment the neighbors were… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • at it — {adj. phr.} Busily doing something; active. * /His rule for success was to keep always at it./ * /The couple who owned the little cleaning shop were at it early and late./ * /Mr. Curtis heard a loud crash in the next apartment the neighbors were… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • go at it hammer and tongs — {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To attack or fight with great strength or energy; have a bad argument. * /Bill slapped George s face and now they re going at it hammer and tongs in back of the house./ * /Helen and Mary have been arguing all day, and now …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • go at it hammer and tongs — {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To attack or fight with great strength or energy; have a bad argument. * /Bill slapped George s face and now they re going at it hammer and tongs in back of the house./ * /Helen and Mary have been arguing all day, and now …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • At — At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • At all — At At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • At home — At At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • At large — At At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • At last — At At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • At least — At At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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