A: Trent turned north off of Honolulu onto Glenwood.
B: The van's really booking.

Is there another meaning for 'booking'? In this dialogue, the van is really going fast.

Maybe it means 'the van's ticketed'?

  • Did you read this or hear it? Are you sure it wasn't "cooking"? – Hot Licks May 13 '19 at 20:03
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    @HotLicks No..it is 70's speak for leaving or moving fast ie "Let's book". – Cascabel May 13 '19 at 20:03
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    @cascabel That one passed me by (probably rapidly). Maybe it never made it to the eastern side of the Pond. – BoldBen May 13 '19 at 20:15
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    But "booking sounds wrong to me- it's an unnatural mixing of register. That car was bookin' – Jim May 13 '19 at 23:41
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    It's 1970s US slang. It's very uncommon these days, and unheard-of outside the US. – smci May 14 '19 at 5:52


Intransitive verb 3) slang : leave, go especially : to depart quickly,

"We booked out of there. "

-Merriam Webster

So the van was proceeding at high velocity down the street.

Although Etymonline has its origin as "unspecified" to 1977, I am sure I heard it going back to at least 2 years earlier in Philadelphia or Lakehurst.

  • 4
    Right. This is recent (late 20th-century) American slang, popular especially with children. – John Lawler May 13 '19 at 20:10
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    "let's book it" is a 'common' expression (meaning to go, not reserve) – Carly May 13 '19 at 20:52

I've only ever heard this used once - in T2: Judgement Day. The young John Conner uses the term and it was sufficiently alien to me that I recall having to write to an American pen-friend at the time (I'm in the UK, and this was 1991 remember!) to find out what it meant.

Interestingly, my recollection of when JC says this differs from the online script sources I've looked at. The 'official' scene is given as in the vault at the Cyberdyne lab when John grabs the original T-800 arm and chip:

"We've got Skynet by the balls now, don't we? Let's book!"

But I'm sure in the actual movie John says this much earlier, when he's with his friend on their motorbikes and the new T-800 and deadly T-1000 haven't intercepted him yet. I'll have to fire-up the movie tonight to confirm.

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