The system of keeping the debtor and creditor accounts of merchants in books provided for the purpose, either by single or by double entry.
Waste-book. A book in which items are not posted under heads, but are left at random, as each transaction occurred.
Day-book. A book in which are set down the debits and credits which occur day by day. These are ultimately sorted into the ledger.
Ledger (Dutch, leggen, to lay). The book which is laid up in counting-houses. In the ledger the different items are regularly sorted according to the system in use. (LEDGER-LINES.)
By single entry. Book-keeping in which each debit or credit is entered only once into the ledger, either as a debit or credit item, under the customer's or salesman's name.
By double entry. By which each item is entered twice into the ledger, once on the debit and once on the credit side.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894