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But... that's... not really something we have in the US. I assumed it was a funny way of saying handbag. If it literally translates to "pocket book," I just don't get the image of a book that fits into a pocket in my mind. And that literal translation would not be a valid translation at all.
Edit: I'm not sure why I said this -- we have Moleskines here, and stuff like that. We don't call them "pocket books." Pocketbook just means something else.
Pocket book is a well understood term in the United Kingdom and I'm guessing other English speaking countries such as Australia and Canada. Historically pocket books were either pocket diaries or more commonly pocket-sized reference books used by engineers and clerks containing numerical tables (logarithms, unit conversions, that sort of thing). Before calculators, computers and smart phones people would carry pocket books with them at all times in order to help them do their job, or simply to keep notes.
My grandfather was an engineer and I have his mathematical pocket book, I also have a pocket book that my mother used at school containing tables for use in solving mathematical problems quickly - this being before calculators. I have a few pocket books of my own, including dictionaries and various scientific references (chemistry, physics, geology).
The term doesn't seem to be completely unused in the US. I saw an episode of 'MythBusters' where members of the team said that one particular pocket book was their bible (not THE bible), they all carried a copy and they referred to it constantly.
that is completely something we have in the US! i remember before Borders closed, there was a whole section of pocketbooks and pocket dictionaries there were some on advanced physics and science (the ones i got cuz i'm a nerd), math, and tons for languages should one go to another country maybe you don't see them, for they're for quick reference and language, but they're definitely known in the US
It's probably a regional thing, then. I'm not familiar with the term pocketbook in this sense. I might call it a pocket guide or a pocket-sized book, but to me, a pocketbook always means a small purse or large wallet. I'm from the south, by the way--raised in Kentucky and living in Tennessee.
In my version of English a handbook is the guide that explains how to use a machine.
Paperbacks are referred to as pocket books in a few countries, obviously Brazil and Portugal, but also in France (livres de poche).
My wife (who is Brazilian) says that books in Brazil tend to be so expensive, most people can't afford them. But, they print these small books that are affordable, and they are small enough to fit in your pocket, and they sell them in all the stores. These are the "livros de bolso". So, the translation is a bit confusing because we don't have these types of books in the USA, but it is more than just travel guides or dictionaries...
Even though there are more Americans than English, Welsh or Scottish; British English is still spoken in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, parts of Canada, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe and is usually the version of English that is taught in schools in non-english speaking countries. For example, I think the number of British English speaking people in India is 125million with Pakistan at 92million.
Most people here prefer the "normal size books". Sometimes they buy these small books just in case they are gonna travel once it fits everywhere and it is not that expensive. But most of time they don't have all the content, so what I see is that people don't mind very much when they have to carry a heavy, big book...
this just isn't correct. let's say you like different kinds of orange juices. notice how i didn't say "oranges juices"? :) or how you don't say "pocketsbooks" but "pocketbooks" or "cups of coffees" but "cups of coffee" you pluralise the noun, but not the rest :) (and of course, it's the same in portuguese)
I did not like this word / translation either. We do have pocket-sized books in the US but that is how they are called - NOT pocketbooks. The only time I ever hear someone refer to a pocketbook is in reference to something that you would carry your checks in. Also you could tuck some money into it as well. Sometimes it is a separate accessory that would hold your credit cards, cash, change, receipts, etc. - you could also put a checkbook into it. However this is only something that a woman would carry in her purse (not that many men write checks anymore). Also, in my experience, only women of a certain age would even refer to it as a pocketbook in the first place (over 50-60).
I am really surprised how quickly things change. A handbag and a purse can be interchangeable but a "pocketbook" in the sense of an accessory would go in a purse, though for a quick run to the store, or to walk the dog you might take just your pocketbook. Slightly different from a "Clutch" which might have some lipstick (not usually found in a pocketbook), some money and the main ID.
A pocketbook is more than a wallet. It has space for paper money, and a coin purse, and credit cards and ID, but also presumedly where the name came from there would often be a spiral pad of paper for notes and even a diary/calendar to write appointments including a space for a pen (oh, and the checkbook too sometimes even with a calculator). There also often was plastic stepped folders for putting photos. Now all that space usually houses a smart phone instead.
Here are some examples of pocketbooks:
Men can also have pocketbooks (they wrote checks too once upon a time...)
But of course this lesson is not for the purse (bolsa in the feminine) but for "pocket books" (two words) which were also very popular in the US. And UK, and Europe where it started:
So popular it became a household word like bandaid and jello, even though it started as a brand name.
In 1939, Robert de Graaf issued a similar line in the United States, partnering with Simon Schuster to create the Pocket Books label. The term "pocket book" became synonymous with paperback in English-speaking North America. In French, the term livre de poche was used and is still in use today. De Graaf, like Lane, negotiated paperback rights from other publishers, and produced many runs. His practices contrasted with those of Lane by his adoption of illustrated covers aimed at the North American market. In order to reach an even broader market than Lane, he used distribution networks of newspapers and magazines, which had a lengthy history of being aimed (in format and distribution) at mass audiences. This was the beginning of mass-market paperbacks.
This was also what made reading affordable to almost everyone (owning a book versus borrowing one from the library). Now people have devices, and facebook to read instead.
Difference between book and pocket: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VUf-e1XShd8/UZGl1LBoTqI/AAAAAAAAAtA/pZLithlHlBE/s1600/7habitos.jpg
That's what I thought, too, although "pocket dictionary" and smaller books make sense. "Paperback" translated into French is "livre de poche," which is literally "pocket book" - the same construction given here in Portuguese. Either way, I figured they weren't going for "pocketbook" as in "handbag."
Not at all! A handbook is an entirely different beast. That would be something like moda de utilização.
I have not heard it frequently, but I'm from the northeast and I am aware of "pocketbook" being slang for female genitalia. It is not very common, and not generally the first thing that's thought of, at least not where I'm from. Urban Dictionary lists it as the second definition, and notes that it's a phrase used by an "older person." For those who are not native English speakers, don't fret - I don't imagine you'd get weird stares if you refer to someone's handbag as a "pocketbook," particularly in the north of the US, although it's a slightly outdated term. ("Handbag" is the fashion term now.)
alabamaslamma, I have sort of the same reaction when someone says "fanny pack," because I have a lot of English friends.