"European crow," Old English hroc, from Proto-Germanic *khrokaz (source also of Old Norse hrokr, Middle Dutch roec, Dutch roek, Middle Swedish roka, Old High German hruoh "crow"), possibly imitative of its raucous voice (compare Gaelic roc "croak," Sanskrit kruc "to cry out"). Used as a disparaging term for persons at least since c. 1500, and extended by 1570s to mean "a cheat," especially at cards or dice.
chess piece, c. 1300, from Old French roc, from Arabic rukhkh, from Persian rukh, of unknown meaning, perhaps somehow related to the Indian name for the piece, rut, from Hindi rath "chariot." Confused in Middle English with roc.
"to defraud by cheating" (originally especially in a game), 1590s, from rook (n.1) in some sense (such as "a gull, simpleton," but this is not attested until 17c.). Related: Rooked; rooking.
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