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Difference between Black book and Little black book

black book

1. a register listing persons that have committed offences against morality, etc.:

  • The German government was in a position to blackmail 47,000 prominent British “perverts” whose names figured in a “black book.”

Cf.: be in someone’s black books—be out of favor with a person:

  • Beatrice managed to leave a very uncomfortable impression upon me and it was clear that I was in her black books again.

2. an official book offering special information:

  • Rules relating to naval affairs are still preserved in the black book of the admiralty.

little black book

1. a book containing the names of acquaintances, potential dates, partners, etc.:

  • I’ve got a nice collection in my little black book.

2. a book for recording personal or private information:

  • Evans kept a note of his expenditure in a little black book.

Note: Neither expression correlates in meaning with the phrase black-letter booka book printed in the old heavy Gothic style of type:

  • She saw Sir John seated by the fireplace, reading out of a great black letter book.