Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Nov 7 19:25:02 UTC 2000

>... "He was really booking, you know, going real fast," ... The
>word is alive and well -- in New York, at least.

Elsewhere too.

>I note that in 1969 a California participant in DARE completed the
>sentence "Something that is left undecided or unfinished: perhaps we
>had better ____" with the words "book it."  Is there a connection

A mystery to me. A slip of the mind for "table it"? "Book it for the next
meeting"? "Book space on the next meeting's agenda for it"?

>Neither the Dictionary of American English nor Dictionary of
>Americanisms has book as a verb.

The RHUD has it, but in the sense "depart" rather than "move fast".

In the sense "leave", I've generally heard "book" and "boogie" used
interchangeably (both current, I think, "book" probably the more common, in
my neighborhood); there's also "bug out". Also "bug[ger] off". All in the
RHUD, better in Chapman's slang dictionary. How are these related
etymologically? All have a connotation of immediacy, I think.

It is my impression that "book" = "move fast" is descended from "book" =
"depart [quickly/immediately]", this probably from something like
"bugger"/"booger" with "boogie" perhaps an intermediate form or perhaps
collateral. Can any savant correct me?

I wonder if "really booking" is parallel to "really flying" in the same
sense -- is "flying" in this sense perhaps derived from "fly" = "flee"
rather than "fly" = "aviate"?

-- Doug Wilson

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