- hook (n.)
- "bent or angled piece of metal or other substance used to catch or hold something," Old English hoc "hook, angle," perhaps related to Old English haca "bolt," from Proto-Germanic *hokaz/*hakan (cognates: Old Frisian hok, Middle Dutch hoek "a hook;" Dutch haak "a hook, angle, corner, cape," German Haken "hook"), from PIE *keg- "hook, tooth" (cognates: Russian kogot "claw"). For spelling, see hood (n.1).
Meaning "projecting point of land" is from 1670s; in U.S. use probably reinforced by the Dutch word. Also the name of a fireman's tool for tearing into buildings, hence hook-and-ladder (1821). Meaning "holder for a telephone receiver" is from 1885 and continued in use after the mechanism evolved. Boxing sense of "short, swinging blow with the elbow bent" is from 1898. Figurative sense "that which catches, a snare, trap" is from early 15c.
Off the hooks meant "disordered" (16c.), "unhinged" (1610s) and "dead" (1840). By hook or by crook (late 14c.) probably alludes to tools of professional thieves. Hook, line, and sinker "completely" is 1838, a metaphor from angling. Hook-nose (n.) is from 1680s; hook-nosed (adj.) from 1510s. Hook-and-eye as a method of garment fastening is from 1620s.
Hook and eye, a metallic fastening for garments, consisting of a hook, commonly of flattened wire bent to the required shape, and an eye, usually of the same material, into which the hook fits. Under the name of crochet and loop, this form of fastening was in use as early as the fourteenth century. [Century Dictionary]
- hook (v.)
- "to bend like a hook," c. 1200 (transitive); early 15c. (intransitive); see hook (n.). Specific meaning "to catch (a fish) with a hook" is from c. 1300; that of "to fasten with hooks" is from 1610s; figurative sense of "catch by artifice" is from 1800. Sense of "make rugs with a hook" is from 1882. Related: Hooked; hooking.