c. 1300, hauk, earlier havek (c. 1200), from Old English hafoc (West Saxon), heafuc (Mercian), heafoc, "hawk," from Proto-Germanic *habukaz (source also of Old Norse haukr, Old Saxon habuc, Middle Dutch havik, Old High German habuh, German Habicht "hawk"), from PIE root *kap- "to grasp" (source also of Russian kobec "a kind of falcon"). Transferred sense of "militarist" attested from 1956, probably based on its opposite, dove.
"to sell in the open, peddle," late 15c., back-formation from hawker "itinerant vendor" (c. 1400), agent noun from Middle Low German höken "to peddle, carry on the back, squat," from Proto-Germanic *huk-. Related: Hawked; hawking. Despite the etymological connection with stooping under a burden on one's back, a hawker is technically distinguished from a peddler by use of a horse and cart or a van.
"to clear one's throat," 1580s, imitative.
updated on April 11, 2017