American Dictionary of the English Language

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BOOK'-KEEPING, noun [book and keep.] The art of recording mercantile transactions in a regular and systematic manner; the art of keeping accounts in such a manner, that a man may know the true state of his business and property, or of his debts and credits, by an inspection of his books.

The books for this purpose are, 1. a Waste Book, or blotter, in which are registered all accounts or transactions in the order in which they take place. 2. The Journal, which contains the accounts transferred from the waste book, in the same order, but expressed in a technical style; 3. the Leger, in which articles of the same kind are collected together, from the journal, and arranged under proper titles.

In addition to these, several others are used; as cash-book; book of charges of merchandize; book of house-expenses; invoice-book; sales-book; bill-book; receipt-book; letter-book; pocket-book; the use of which may be understood from the names.