throw the book at
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.
- (transitive, idiomatic, informal) To charge with or convict of as many crimes as possible.
- (transitive, idiomatic, informal) To apply the harshest possible punishment to.
1926, Will James, Cowboys north and south, page 95:
- The judge, not weeping any, throws the book at him, which means he gives Bob the limit.
- Used other than as an idiom: see throw, the, book, at.