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Kiss the Book


After taking a legal oath, we are commanded to kiss the book, which in our English courts is the New Testament, except when Jews “are sworn in.” This is the kiss of confirmation or promise to act in accordance with the words of the oath (Moravians and Quakers are not required to take legal oaths). The kiss, in this case, is a public acknowledgment that you adore the deity whose book you kiss, as a worshipper.

It is now permitted to affirm, if persons like to do so. Mr. Bradlaugh refused to take an oath, and after some years of contention the law was altered.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Kingswood Lions
Kinless Loons
Kirk of Skulls
Kirke’s Lambs
Kiss Hands (To)
Kiss the Book
Kiss the Dust
Kiss the Hare’s Foot (To)
Kiss the Mistress (To)
Kiss the Rod (To)
Kiss behind the Garden Gate (A)
Kiss given to a Poet
Kiss the Gunner’s Daughter (To)
Kiss the Place to make it Well