Idioms With “Book” and Meanings

List of idioms with the word “Book” and the meanings. Idioms about “Book” and expressions.

by the book, go
operate according to the rules
1. The pilot might have carried out some preflight procedures more quickly, but because he was training a new pilot, he did everything by the book so the trainee would learn the procedures.
2. As a parent raising children, you can’t always go by the book and follow the rules. Sometimes you have to use your intuition.
The expression probably originates from the idea that the procedure or accepted rules of an established game are set
down in a book.

open book
a person who doesn’t hide anything about himself or herself; a person’s life (sentence 1) or mind in which nothing is hidden
1. Cindy hides nothing about how she spends her time. Her life is an open book.
2. James and John are as different as night and day. James is an open book, but John is very secretive.
The expression suggests that a person who is an open book is easy to “read” or understand.

throw the book at (someone)
to give someone the harshest penalty or punishment allowed by law, or to impose any severe sentence or punishment
1. The judge decided to punish the thief to the full extent of the law. Instead of being lenient and giving him a light jail sentence, he threw the book at him.
2. The girl decided to buy the pack of gum instead of taking it without paying. She knew that if she got caught, they’d throw the book at her.
The book refers to a book of laws, and throwing it at someone means applying the maximum sentence a judge can legally impose upon a person convicted of a crime.

a coffee table book
a large, expensive book with a lot of pictures, that is often kept on a table for people to look at

be a closed book
to be something that you know or understand nothing about (usually + to )

be in somebody’s good books (informal)
if you are in someone’s good books, they are pleased with you

book someone on something
to reserve a place for someone on some travel conveyance.

book (on) out
Sl. to leave in a hurry; to depart very suddenly and rapidly.

book someone through (to some place)
to make transportation arrangements for someone that involve a number of changes and transfers.

book something up
to reserve all the available places.

bring somebody to book (British & Australian)
to punish someone (usually passive)

by the book and by the numbers
following the rules exactly. (Alludes to a (numbered) book of rules.

close the books on someone or something
Fig. to declare that a matter concerning someone or something is finished.

cook the books (informal)
to record false information in the accounts of an organization, especially in order to steal money (usually in continuous tenses)

crack a book
Fig. to open a book to study. (Usually used with a negative.)

cuddle up with a (good) book and curl up (with a (good) book)
to snuggle into a chair or bed comfortably to read a book. I want to go home and cuddle up with a good book. She went home and curled up with a good book.

every trick in the book
every clever or dishonest way that you know to achieve something that you want (often + to do sth)

go by the book also do something by the book
to do something exactly as the rules tell you

(the) Good Book
the Bible.

have one’s name inscribed in the book of life
Euph. to die.

have one’s nose in a book
Fig. to be reading a book; to read books all the time.

hit the books and pound the books
Inf. Fig. to study hard. I spent the weekend pounding the books. I gotta go home and hit the books. I have finals next week.

in my book (informal)
in my opinion

make book on something
1. Sl. to make or accept bets on something. Well, she might. But I wouldn’t make book on it. Don’t make book on my success in this game.
2. Sl. to feel confident enough about something to accept wagers on it. Of course the delivery date is certain. You can make book on it! The work might be done on time, but I wouldn’t make book on it.

off the books
without being included on official financial records Waiters, cashiers, and busboys often work off the books, getting paid in cash.
Usage notes: sometimes used with keep or take: Officials have kept their expenses off the books.

You can’t judge a book by its cover.
something that you say which means you cannot judge the quality or character of someone or something just by looking at them

wrote the book on something
Fig. to be very authoritative about something; to know enough about something to write the definitive book on it. (Always in past tense.)

throw the book at someone
Fig. to charge or convict someone with as many crimes as is possible.

the oldest trick in the book
a way of tricking someone which is still effective although it has been used a lot before It was the oldest trick in the book – one man distracted me while another stole my wallet.

take a leaf out of someone’s book and take a page from someone’s book
Fig. to behave or to do something in a way that someone else would.

read someone like a book
Fig. to understand someone very well. I’ve got John figured out. I can read him like a book. Of course I understand you. I read you like a book.

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