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 認為······理所當然
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”是一個俚語。一些專家說這個俚語最早在20世紀70年代就有使用 。它的意思是離開——一般指很快地離開 。所以，如果有人說“不能再說啦，我得走了”，那意思是他們得盡快離開這去某個地方 。
“Book”也是旅行方面的一個很有用的動詞。例如，你預訂一趟航班，那意思是你花錢在飛機上買了個座位 。你也可以預訂酒店的房間或者預訂餐館的餐位 。
“賭注經紀人”是從賭徒那拿賭注的人。這通常是違法活動 。另一個牽涉到“book”的違法活動稱作“做假賬” 。這也許聽起來像是做食物，但它不是 。
簿記員記錄企業的財務行為。他們添加假信息的時候就是做假賬 。例如，人們也許為了少交稅，對于利潤可能會編造謊言，他們會在收入上做假賬 。
“控告他們，丹鬧（人名）！”是1968-1980年間美國非常流行的警匪劇里的標志性句子。制片人讓《夏威夷5-0特勤組》煥發生命 。他們甚至用了流行的句子“控告他們，丹鬧！”向原劇致敬 。
然而，法官也要依法辦事。她必須遵守法律制度的規定 。照章行事的人都遵守規則 。
“我們勸客人留下來吃晚飯。他沒多推辭 。當我們坐下來的時候，我想到他喜歡看著我們，他能夠看穿我們，當他深邃的目光落在我身上時，我感覺他似乎看到了我的未來，看到了我要走的路 。”
凱瑟女士寫了很多本書。但你不必為了讓人們說你你寫了本書而特意去寫本書 。讓我解釋下:說“一個人寫了一本關于某物的書”的意思是他們對于某事物很了解 。他們是專家 。舉個例子，我大學時候的一個朋友簡直就是夜貓子 。她是這方面的專家，她能把一個學期的工作量都擠壓到幾個晚上完成 。
這個大學同學也試遍了所有的方法來不做作業。當你嘗試所有技巧，意思是你把能做某事或者不做某事的所有能試的方法都試了 。她會撒謊裝病 。她甚至會撒謊說參加她姨媽的姐姐的丈夫的葬禮！
“是的，你不該。就因為伊麗莎白年輕漂亮你就認為她修不了車 。她還是個很好的DJ 。我為了我正策劃的一個聚會預訂了她 。”
“那個安靜的會計？他從來不談他自己。所以我不認為他是個率直的人 。但他真得很友善，看起來也值得信任 。”