Posted by Word Camel on November 04, 2003
In Reply to: Book it, booking on posted by ESC on November 04, 2003
: : : When I hear the detectives say "he booked" meaning he has left I always wonder how it go that meaning?
: : I am not sure if that is the way it is spelled since I have only ever heard it. It is slang meaning to run fast. I used to hear people use it to describe running in football games when I was cheerleader (she mumbled embarrassedly). "Did you see Bozeman? He was bookin'! They didn't stop him until he got to the three [yard line]."
: A couple of references associate "book it" meaning to move fast with "book it" meaning to study or "hit the books." ("Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner" by Geneva Smitherman, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1994; and "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, A-G" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.) Random House says "book it" is influenced by "boogie." Both sources say the phrase dates back to the 1970s. That's when I first heard it.
: I am not clear on how that would have evolved - from studying to moving fast.
The part about it being black slang and maybe being related to boogie. I'm wondering if it could have been popularised in any of the 'blacksploitation' films of the 70's. Maybe I'll have to go back and watch Shack. :)