Idioms

    cook one's goose. goose(def 11).
    cook the books, Slang. to manipulate the financial records of a company, organization, etc., so as to conceal profits, avoid taxes, or present a false financial report to stockholders.

Origin of cook

1
before 1000; (noun) Middle English cok(e), Old English cōc (compare Old Norse kokkr, German Koch, Dutch kok) < Latin cocus, coquus, derivative of coquere to cook; akin to Greek péptein (see peptic); (v.) late Middle English coken, derivative of the noun

Related forms

cook·a·ble, adjectivecook·less, adjectiveun·cook·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for cook the books (1 of 3)

cook

/ (kʊk) /

verb

noun

a person who prepares food for eating, esp as an occupation
See also cook up

Derived Forms

cookable, adjectivecooking, noun

Word Origin for cook

Old English cōc (n), from Latin coquus a cook, from coquere to cook

British Dictionary definitions for cook the books (2 of 3)

Cook

1
/ (kʊk) /

noun Mount Cook

a mountain in New Zealand, in the South Island, in the Southern Alps: the highest peak in New Zealand. Height: reduced in 1991 by a rockfall from 3764 m (12 349 ft) to 3754 m (12 316 ft)Official name: Aoraki-Mount Cook
a mountain in SE Alaska, in the St Elias Mountains. Height: 4194 m (13 760 ft)

British Dictionary definitions for cook the books (3 of 3)

Cook

2
/ (kʊk) /

noun

Captain James . 1728–79, British navigator and explorer: claimed the E coast of Australia for Britain, circumnavigated New Zealand, and discovered several Pacific and Atlantic islands (1768–79)
Sir Joseph. 1860–1947, Australian statesman, born in England: prime minister of Australia (1913–14)
Peter (Edward). 1937–95, British comedy actor and writer, noted esp for his partnership (1960–73) with Dudley Moore
Robin, full name Robert Finlayson Cook . 1946–2005, British Labour politician; foreign secretary (1997–2001), Leader of the House (2001-2003)
Thomas. 1808–92, British travel agent; innovator of conducted excursions and founder of the travel agents Thomas Cook and Son
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with cook the books (1 of 2)

cook the books


Falsify a company's financial records, as in An independent audit showed that they've been cooking the books for years. This slangy phrase was first recorded in 1636.

Idioms and Phrases with cook the books (2 of 2)

cook


In addition to the idioms beginning with cook

  • cook someone's goose
  • cook the books
  • cook up
  • cook with gas

also see:

  • chief cook and bottlewasher
  • short order (cook)
  • too many cooks spoil the broth
  • what's cooking
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.