by hook or crook

(redirected from hook or crook)

by hook or (by) crook

In any way possible. A: "But we're not allowed to submit more than one entry per person." B: "Oh, forget that—we are winning this contest by hook or by crook!" We need to court that big investor by hook or by crook, so shameless flattery is a fine place to start!
See also: crook, hook

by hook or (by) crook

by any means, legal or illegal. I'll get the job done by hook or by crook. I must have that house. I intend to get it by hook or crook.
See also: crook, hook

by hook or crook

By any means possible, in one way or another. For example, The car broke down, but I'll get there by hook or crook. This term has a disputed origin. A widely held theory is that it comes from the custom of allowing commoners to take as much wood from royal forests as they could reach with a shepherd's crook and cut down with a billhook. [1300s] Also see the synonym by any means.
See also: crook, hook
References in classic literature ?
But it should result in the rescue of Raffles by hook or crook.
He often would Hurly-burly Get up early And go By hook or crook To the brook, And bring home Miller's Thumb, Tittlebat Not over fat, Minnows small As the stall Of a glove, Not above The size Of a nice Little baby's Little fingers.
None the less we must have that money to-night--by hook or crook.
If Joseph Willet, the denounced and proscribed of 'prentices, had happened to be at home when his father's courtly guest presented himself before the Maypole door--that is, if it had not perversely chanced to be one of the half-dozen days in the whole year on which he was at liberty to absent himself for as many hours without question or reproach--he would have contrived, by hook or crook, to dive to the very bottom of Mr Chester's mystery, and to come at his purpose with as much certainty as though he had been his confidential adviser.
It's a dead earnest business proposition that's out for results and keeps out till by hook or crook it gets them.
They could pull down branches that were within reach of their hook or crook.
By hook or crook Lancashire eked out a sevenrun first-innings lead before young Yorkshire opener Chris Taylor bagged a successive second-ball duck of the match to leave his team three for one.