crack a book

Idioms & Phrases

crack a book

Open a book to study or read, as in He passed the exam without cracking a book. This expression employs the verb to crack in the sense of "to open," a slang usage that dates from the early 1700s. [Colloquial; c. 1930]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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