I found an amusing story titled “Lobster salad, but a key ingredient was missing” in today’s (August 11）New York Times NY/Region section.
The article reports that Zabar’s, the famous grocery in Upper West Side have sold salad delicatessen of which main ingredient is crawfish, and doesn’t contain any bit of lobster meat by the name of “Lobster Salad” at $16.95 per pound for years. It has been a very popular item to New Yorkers.
When the secret was betrayed by a reporter of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, and soon the news widely spread through local newspapers, Saul Zabar, the 83-year-old president insisted selling lobsterless lobster salad was not dishonest at all, citing the case of a Japanese version of crab meat using pollock as the base being widely sold in Japan under the category name of “Crabmeat Resembling,” – which caught my special attention to this particular topic.
Cutting to the chase, I was caught up with the phrase, “We didn’t think that we were doing anything that was not completely up and up,” in the following remark of Mr. Zabar:
“But by then Mr. Zabar had had enough. “We really didn’t think that we were doing anything that was not completely up and up,” he said, “but there was an element that might be confusing, and with all this stuff going on, I decided now’s the time to clarify.”
Eventually he changed the name of the product.
What does “completely up and up” mean? Is this common, colloquial phrase?