It's certainly a phrase I am familiar with, and I'm a Brit. I don't know
whether it's exclusively British though.
It means basically, a surprise, something unexpected. I looked it up in
'Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable' and the definition reads:
A completely unexpected result or occurrance, especially a welcome one. 'Turn-up'
alludes to the turning up of a particular card in a game, while the 'book'
is the one kept by a bookmaker on a racecourse. the expression dates from
Hope this clears it up for you.
>-- Original Message --
>From: "Anthony Docimo" <keenir@...>
>Date: Tue, 23 May 2006 00:17:43 +0000
>Subject: Re: [wraithbeta] Question on Grammar
>>Example one is not correct, at least not if you're talking about two<BR>
>>So, for example this is correct:<BR>
>>"I think I underestimated you, Rodney," John said. "This
>is a turn up for<BR>
>If I may ask, is that a British expression? What does "a turn
>up for the <BR>
>books" mean? *curious*<BR>
Tiscali Broadband from 14.99 with free setup!