Book it

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ExpatCat

Senior Member
Spanish, Cursive (bilingual)
Context: I'd like to say that we (my companions and myself) must leave the place in a hurry.
Can I use the following sentences to express the idea?

This house is going to collapse any minute. Let's book it out of here!
This house is going to collapse any minute. Let's book it on out of here!

Best,
Jose.
 
  • ExpatCat

    Senior Member
    Spanish, Cursive (bilingual)
    Thanks for replying to me.
    Actually I've seen this expression explained in Urban Dictionary (which I always take with a pinch of salt, hence this question).
    I've also looked it up on the Corpus of Contemporary American English and here's one of the examples of this usage:

    An excerpt from "Skiing" Leslie Anthony
    Over two feet of new snow falls overnight, kept cold by January temperatures. It's a blue-sky powder morning in the wettest place on earth. We book it back to the Pass, and by 9:30 we've altready floated through two runs down the renowned fall-line tree-run Wild Katz.

    I suspect it's an American usage, is it true?

    Also I would like to know if this usage is literary or casual in AE, if it's used in AE.
     
    Last edited:

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Yes, American slang. Book it means to depart, or just to travel or get moving. I would either use your second form, or just "Let's book it!" I think the on is needed if you want to use out of here.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's not common usage, at least not among the people I talk with. I'd use a different word: "let's get out of here," "let's get the hell out of here*," "let's high-tail it out of here" (comes from a deer raising its tail when it runs away), or any of several other expressions.

    _________________
    *My college friends and I used to say "Let's make like hockey players and get the puck out of here," so we didn't have to say "let's get the fuck out of here." It wasn't so much that the word "fuck" bothered us, we were after all males about 20 years old, but we thought the pun was especially clever.
     

    pwmeek

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I would say book it was common AE slang among young people about 25 years ago (my wife says 30), and still in use occasionally by those formerly young people as adults today. (I judge by my daughter and her friends, who fit that time-scale.) So, it may be a bit dated as slang.

    However Leslie Anthony is still writing, so it must have at least some currency.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    SO, let me understand - If I want to say "Let's scram!" because the roof is about to collapse and fall on our heads, it is still OK to say "let's book it on out of here"? (well, I am way above 25 and, no, I won't be using it myself, but.....doesn't hurt to know).
    And it will still carry the much needed urgency overtones?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    That's quite a mouthful in an urgent situation. I don't think it would be something to use if you wanted to be sure everyone would understand you.

    I used "book" when I was younger and would understand it now but I'm not sure my children would. If I were in an urgent situation and the person I was with was sure to understand, I would probably just say "Let's book!"

    In general, "book" has a casual tone to it unless it's in the present continuous, as in: "That car was really booking when it passed us!" Otherwise, it's just a way of saying "leave", like "I'm tired and this party's boring; I'm going to book."
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    Well, ExpatCat's question contained some particular situation where "book" was used, so would you say, you recommend that particular usage (the house is falling down) or not?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    As I said, I don't think it would be something to use if you wanted to be sure everyone would understand you.

    In other words, use it only among people who you are sure know "book". It's not a universal slang term.
     
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