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I'm curious if "the book" in question is the bible?

Does anyone know where this term first entered the lexicon?

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closed as general reference by jwpat7, Matt E. Эллен, simchona, kiamlaluno, Daniel Jan 10 '12 at 1:25

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers 2

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Not, I think, the Bible, but the law book. The OED’s earliest citation is this from 1932:

The prosecuting attorney . . . determined to try to get the trial judge to ‘throw the book’ at him

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According to EtymOnline the saying dates back to 1932 and refers to a "law book" during sentencing.

To throw the book at (someone) is 1932, from notion of judge sentencing a criminal from a law book full of possible punishments.

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This etymology is misleadingly worded, even though it is what etymonline says; see my answer to this question. – Peter Shor Jan 2 '14 at 22:02

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