Throw the book at someone

Definition

To give someone the maximum allowable punishment for a crime or offense.

Examples

The judge threw the book at the thief for stealing from the store.

The police threw the book at the driver for driving under the influence.

Origin

The origin of the phrase is unknown, but it is thought to have been first used in the early 20th century.

FAQs

Question

What does “throw the book at someone” mean?

Answer

It means to give someone the maximum allowable punishment for a crime or offense.