I'm trying to find if there are any other words or phrases that have a similar meaning to Little Black Book. More looking along the lines of a word or phrase to mean a list or book where you keep important information, but usually about other people.

Little Black Book:
n. a book containing the names and addresses of acquaintances who are potential dates, usually put together by men.
Am I in your little black book, or can you already tell that I wouldn't go out with you?

(McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions)

5 Answers 5


There are a number of related terms for repositories of names, dates and notes.

  • day planner
  • planner
  • personal orgnaizer
  • personal digital assistant (electronic)
  • PDA (also electronic)
  • organizer
  • personal diary
  • diary
  • journal
  • contact list

There are also brand name products whose names are sometimes used generically to mean something similar

  • Filofax
  • DayMinder

All of the above are much broader than just a list of potential dates and their phone numbers. Many are much more business, rather than socially, oriented.

The closest term that conforms to little black book is probably address book or telephone/address book


I have heard the term holodex used. It is just a combination of Rolodex and ho.


I've only ever heard black book used in reference to 'being in someone's black books', ie being in a state of disfavour with that person. Perhaps it's a regional thing? The only place I've ever kept information about other people really is my address book and even that's a little too formal for the context you're giving. So it doesn't make sense to provide synonyms of that like 'directory' because then we're getting into properly formal territory.

(Incidentally, Wikipedia wants to identify a 'little black book' as an address book as well.)

How about 'list'? "You're on my list." Could work, but it's very generic. Of synonymous words, you have 'lineup', 'index', 'register', 'shortlist' ... sadly, it seems that none of them resonate with the same tone as little black book - as an idiom rather than a lone word.

  • 1
    Ummmmm … no. Little black book is a pocket sized personal address book.
    – David M
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 12:14
  • As I said, I've never personally heard anyone use that idiom to describe such an object. Just as I've never personally seen anyone actually have such an item. My address book is black but it sits on a shelf at home, and if I need to take notes on someone it goes into a notepad or onto the memo app on my phone. :| Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 12:57
  • 1
    You're too young to remember the days before cellphones is the problem. Back in the days when pay-phones roamed the Earth, people kept little black books in their pockets with the phone numbers of acquaintances and particularly members of the opposite (or same for that matter) sex they found interesting …
    – David M
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 13:10
  • 1
    You're certainly right about that - I'm only 23, but my dad has previously spoken of the 'brick' mobile phone that he once owned. It's strange and fascinating how technology has made advancing strides (especially in recent years) with regards to changing how we perceive and interact with the world around us. Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 13:17

You might want to consider "little private diary," "contact book,"and the neologistical "not for all eyes little book" and "for one's eyes only (little) diary."

  • Contact book is the only one that is accurate there.
    – David M
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 12:14
  • @DavidM Sure. The others are intentional neologisms. ;-)
    – Elian
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 13:30
  • Just make sure to edit and mark them as such. Lead with contact book, and I'll up vote.
    – David M
    Commented Apr 4, 2014 at 15:17

You seek the term "dossier". It can be a book but it need not be; it can be a file but in my day little black books were kept in file form.

  • 1
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