Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.
The goal of this show is to help you learn words and expressions in American English and also when to use them.
Today, we continue talking about the word "book."
Books are so common that it is easy to take them for granted, or fail to appreciate them. But "book" is a very useful word and is common to many expressions and idioms.
Let's begin with "book" used as a verb.
"To book" is a slang expression. Some experts say its earliest use was the 1970s. It means to leave -- often quickly. So, if someone says, "Can't talk now. I gotta (got to) book!" it means they need to hurry to get somewhere.
"Book" is also a very useful verb for traveling. For example, you "book" an airplane flight. That means you pay for a seat on a flight. You can also book a room at a hotel or a table at a restaurant.
Several online dictionaries say this usage of "book" began in 1841. Of course, at that time people were not booking plane tickets but railway tickets.
You can also book a musician or performer. That means to hire someone, usually for a special, one-time project. Some experts say this usage began in 1872.
People who are employed to book performers are sometimes called "bookers." You do not want to confuse them with "bookies."
A bookie is a person who takes bets from gamblers. This is often an illegal activity. Another illegal activity involving books is called cooking the books. This may sound like making food, but it is not.
Bookkeepers record the financial actions of businesses. They cook the books when they add false information. For example, people might lie about earnings so they pay less in taxes. They are cooking the books on their income.
Can you guess what the police sometimes do to illegal bookies and those who get caught cooking the books? They "book" them! In this case, "book" means to officially charge someone with a crime.
"Book 'em, Danno!" is an iconic phrase from a popular cop show that ran in the U.S. from 1968 to 1980. Producers have brought "Hawaii Five-O" back to life. They even use popular phrase, "Book 'em, Danno!" as a nod to the original show.
And, that brings us to some "book" idioms.
Let's say the booked bookie goes to trial. He hopes for a light punishment. But, instead, the judge throws the book at him. The judge gives him the most serious punishment possible.
However, the judge must still do things by the book. She must honor the rules of the legal system. People who go by the book follow the rules.
So, there are people who are by-the-book. And then there are people who are open books. If you are an open book, you are easy to know because you share or show your thoughts and emotions easily.
American writer Willa Cather used the expression "open book" in her novel "My Antonia." She describes a Christmas morning in which a poor neighbor visits a family.
"We persuaded our guest to stay for supper with us. He needed little urging. As we sat down to the table, it occurred to me that he liked to look at us, and that our faces were open books to him. When his deep-seeing eyes rested on me, I felt as if he were looking far ahead into the future for me, down the road I would have to travel."
Ms. Cather wrote many books. But you don't have to write a book for people to say you've written a book. Let me explain. Saying that someone has written the book on something means they know a lot about a subject. They are an expert. For example, a friend of mine in college, wrote the book on pulling all-nighters. She was an expert at cramming a semester's worth of work into just a few nights.
This same college friend also tried every trick in the book to get out of doing her work. When you try every trick in the book, it means you have tried everything possible to do something or to not do something. She would lie about being sick. She would even lie about attending the funeral of her great aunt's sister's husband!
When trying to get out of work, lying about the death of a distant relative is the oldest trick in the book. The oldest trick in the book is a trick that has been used many, many times and remains effective.
Now, let's hear some of these expressions in a dialogue.
"What are you doing?"
"Trying to fix my car. But I have tried every trick in the book and it just won't start!"
"You should ask Elizabeth from apartment 3B for help."
"You mean young, beautiful Elizabeth? Why would I ask her for help fixing my car?"
"Because she wrote the book on fixing cars. Her grandfather, father and four brothers are all mechanics! She's been fixing cars since she was 15 years old!"
"Wow, I guess I shouldn't judge a book by its cover."
"No, you shouldn't. Just because Elizabeth is young and beautiful you thought she could not fix a car. She's also a great DJ. I just booked her for a party I'm planning."
"Really. That's cool. You know, I may have pre-judged Elizabeth. But I'm sure you have done the same. For example, what do you think about the guy who lives in apartment 4C?"
"The quiet accountant? He never talks about himself. So I wouldn't call him an open book. But he's really nice and seems trustworthy."
"What would you say if I told you he got busted for cooking the books on a big investment scam?"
"What?! Are you serious?!"
"Yes, and it's not the first time he has been booked for this type of crime. So, the judge threw the book at him! He'll be prison for at least seven years!"
"Wow, you're right! You really can't judge a book by its cover."
"Hey, your car started! You don't need Elizabeth after all."
"Well, I'm still going to ask her for help and then ask her out to dinner."
"That is the oldest trick in the book. And like your old car, that old trick will most likely backfire.
Um, is your car supposed to smoke like that?"
And it's time to close this chapter of Words and Their Stories. Join us again next week as we explore the origin and usage of common American English.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.take for granted 认为······理所当然
They often examine beliefs that most of us take for granted most of the time.
2.charge sb with sth 指控；指控某人做某事
I countered his charge with sufficient proofs.
3.it occurred to 突然想到······
It occurred to me that we should go there more often.
“To book”是一个俚语。一些专家说这个俚语最早在20世纪70年代就有使用 。它的意思是离开——一般指很快地离开 。所以，如果有人说“不能再说啦，我得走了”，那意思是他们得尽快离开这去某个地方 。
“Book”也是旅行方面的一个很有用的动词。例如，你预订一趟航班，那意思是你花钱在飞机上买了个座位 。你也可以预订酒店的房间或者预订餐馆的餐位 。
“赌注经纪人”是从赌徒那拿赌注的人。这通常是违法活动 。另一个牵涉到“book”的违法活动称作“做假账” 。这也许听起来像是做食物，但它不是 。
簿记员记录企业的财务行为。他们添加假信息的时候就是做假账 。例如，人们也许为了少交税，对于利润可能会编造谎言，他们会在收入上做假账 。
“控告他们，丹闹（人名）！”是1968-1980年间美国非常流行的警匪剧里的标志性句子。制片人让《夏威夷5-0特勤组》焕发生命 。他们甚至用了流行的句子“控告他们，丹闹！”向原剧致敬 。
然而，法官也要依法办事。她必须遵守法律制度的规定 。照章行事的人都遵守规则 。
“我们劝客人留下来吃晚饭。他没多推辞 。当我们坐下来的时候，我想到他喜欢看着我们，他能够看穿我们，当他深邃的目光落在我身上时，我感觉他似乎看到了我的未来，看到了我要走的路 。”
凯瑟女士写了很多本书。但你不必为了让人们说你你写了本书而特意去写本书 。让我解释下:说“一个人写了一本关于某物的书”的意思是他们对于某事物很了解 。他们是专家 。举个例子，我大学时候的一个朋友简直就是夜猫子 。她是这方面的专家，她能把一个学期的工作量都挤压到几个晚上完成 。
这个大学同学也试遍了所有的方法来不做作业。当你尝试所有技巧，意思是你把能做某事或者不做某事的所有能试的方法都试了 。她会撒谎装病 。她甚至会撒谎说参加她姨妈的姐姐的丈夫的葬礼！
“是的，你不该。就因为伊丽莎白年轻漂亮你就认为她修不了车 。她还是个很好的DJ 。我为了我正策划的一个聚会预订了她 。”
“那个安静的会计？他从来不谈他自己。所以我不认为他是个率直的人 。但他真得很友善，看起来也值得信任 。”