It’s not worth the paper it’s printed on

is an expression which could refer to an agreement, a devalued currency note or a rubber cheque.  (A cheque bounces if the bank refuses to honour it due to the person who wrote it not having enough money in the account.  The cheque is marked “return to drawer”, the drawer being the person who wrote it in order to withdraw money by paying the payee.  Of course, a drawer is also part of a desk or chest of drawers.)

As pretty as a picture is a synonym.  Not all pictures are pretty, but William Morris is famous for his advice,

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.


William Morris Photo Credit Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:William_Morris_age_53.jpg

Answers on the back of a postcard used to be the instructions for entering competitions in the days before electronic mail.  Requests for music to be played on the radio were also preferred as postcards, due to the time saved compared with opening envelopes containing letters.

On the back of an envelope might be the place to do a quick calculation.

A potted history is a concise one.  Jam (in a jar or pot) takes up less space than its ingredients.

Make a good impression reminds me of printing, perhaps using blocks.  It the block is not well-made the printing will be blurred.  People’s behaviour impresses others favourably or otherwise.  Make an impression does not say which sort.

The gutter press needs a bit of research.  Press is the printing machine – sheets of paper are printed by the machine pressing the ink onto them.  A gutter is a drainage channel or the inside margin of a printed page in a book.  The gutter press is those newspapers which concentrate on scandal and discrediting people in public life.  Gerald Priestland wrote,

Journalists belong in the gutter because that is where the ruling classes throw their guilty secrets.

A rag is a derogatory term for a newspaper.  One traditional component of paper was rags.

Fleet Street was the home of many British newspapers.  It is almost synonymous with the press.

A press release is sent to a newspaper by a government, company or organisation in the hope that they will print it free of charge.

Stop press is an item which has been received at the last minute just as a publication was ready to be printed.  In an extreme case it might have been necessary to stop the machinery while it was added.  Some newspapers issued more than one edition.

Newsprint is a name for the paper newspapers are printed on.  The ink often comes off on the hands of readers.

Yesterday’s news is not considered valuable.

A handbill is usually called a flier these days.

Foot the bill means pay an invoice.

Begging letters are sent out by charities asking for donations.

From cover to cover is a good way to read a book.

A licence to print money is an expression which I used not to understand at all.  Only official mints are legally able to print bank notes.  Now quantitative easing has allowed them to print more than usual.

A one-way ticket possibly takes you to the point of no return.

That’s the ticket and just the ticket are appreciative remarks about an appropriate response.

To be in someone’s bad books means that they are remembering something that displeased them.

To be lost in a good book is a pleasant experience for many readers.

In my book means in my opinion.

In the Good Book refers to the Bible.

It’s a closed book to me is said about a subject the speaker has not even begun to learn.  In the Bible some prophecies were to be told and others sealed up.  St  John was told not to seal the Book of Revelation 22:10 but he described a sealed scroll: Revelation 5.