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blot (one's) copy book

To tarnish, damage, or ruin one's reputation by behaving badly or committing some mistake or social transgression. Refers to a child's copy book, the blotting (staining with ink) of which ruins one's work. Primarily heard in UK. The local councilor blotted his copy book when it came to light that he had accepted bribes to allow unregulated development projects to go ahead. I really blotted my copy book when I spilled my drink on the visiting dignitary last night.
See also: blot, book, copy
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

blot your copybook

If you blot your copybook, you damage your reputation by doing something wrong. Their relationship had been so perfect. Until he'd blotted his copybook with Susan, that is. Note: You can also say that there is a blot on your copybook. In fact, just about the only blot on his copybook so far was a missed penalty against Arsenal 10 days ago. Note: In the past, schoolchildren had `copybooks'. These were books of examples of handwriting, with spaces for the children to copy it.
See also: blot, copybook
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

blot your copybook

tarnish your good reputation. British
A copybook was an exercise book with examples of handwriting for children to copy as they practised their own writing.
See also: blot, copybook
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

blot your ˈcopybook

(old-fashioned, informal) spoil a previously good record: He paid back the money he had stolen, but he had blotted his copybook and couldn’t hope for promotion.A copybook was an exercise book with printed examples of good writing for children to copy. If you blotted it, you accidentally spoiled it by making a mark with ink on it.
See also: blot, copybook
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
In a crowded stationery shop in Erbil a 6-year old boy caught up with the atmosphere and buzz of starting school asks his father, "Hey Dad I want a big size copy book and color pens!" "Oh yes my dear," Akram Burhan, his father replies, "I will buy you everything you need but you need to understand that those big copybooks are usually used by college students and won't fit in your small bag." Stationery stores in Erbil city continue to reap monetary benefits from the re-opening of schools revealed businessmen.
By entering only FILE and/or COPYBOOK names with the option of uploading a TXT file version of your copybooks, the Online COBOL Shell Program Generator creates a source code listing that includes the following:
* Working-Storage Section - allows entry of up to eight (8) copybook names and will expand uploaded copybooks for Working-Storage
* Linkage-Section - allows entry of up to eight (8) linkage section copybooks and will expand uploaded copybooks for Linkage-Section.
A major data center easily might have a 500-page schema layout or COBOL copybooks with more than 200,000 lines.
CIOs and data analysts are beginning to realize they no longer need to manually analyze data and study COBOL copybooks and documentation to understand their source data prior to moving it to a new system.