[Ads-l] Earliest Use of "Cook the Books"

Mark Mandel mark.a.mandel at GMAIL.COM
Tue Feb 5 01:31:12 UTC 2019

The word "by" appears to be missing here:

...was only to be discovered ^ the closest investigation...

Mark Mandel

On Mon, Feb 4, 2019, 1:29 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com

> Good work, Ben and everyone. Here is an instance of the desired phrase
> in 1850 from the British Newspaper Archive. The word cook is enclosed
> in quotation marks.
> Date: 21 January 1850
> Newspaper: The Globe
> Newspaper Location: London, England
> Article: The Latest News: The Aylesbury Savings Bank
> Quote Page 3, Column 2
> Database: British Newspaper Archive
> [Begin excerpt]
> The mode which Stratton adopted to mystify the accounts and to "cook"
> the books of the bank, to deceive the trustees and managers, as well
> as Mr. James, the Secretary, was of a character to disarm suspicion,
> and was only to be discovered the closest investigation and the
> strictest scrutiny.
> [End excerpt]
> Garson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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