Meaning of Idiom ‘To Read Someone Like a Book’
To (be able to) read someone like a book means to understand someone completely and to be able to discern their thoughts, emotions, character, motives, desires, etc. 1Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
See the related idiom an open book.
Examples Of Use
“Don’t try to fool me, I can read you like a book!”
“I love to play poker with John. He always loses because I can read him like a book.”
“I tried to fool my wife the other day and told her I was at work when I was really out with friends. Problem is, she can read me like a book and I knew the jig was up as soon as I walked in the front door.”
Used since the mid-1800’s.
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