One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A book made of parchment or vellum, especially one containing literary works from medieval Iceland or Scandinavia.
2Slang. A pornographic book or magazine; a cheap paperback with erotic subject matter.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From skin + book. In later use of sense 1 after Icelandic skinnbók or Danish skindbog; compare Old Icelandic skinna.
skin book/ˈskɪn bʊk/
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