by hook or by crook


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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

If you say you will do something by hook or by crook, you mean that you will find a way to do it, even if it is difficult or involves dishonest methods. He would have to see her again by hook or by crook. He is determined to hang on to power by hook or by crook. Note: The hook in this expression is a billhook, which is a cutting tool with a hooked blade. A shepherd's crook is a long stick with a curve at the top. This expression may refer to a medieval law which allowed ordinary people to collect firewood from forests belonging to the King or a lord, so long as they took only dead wood which they could reach with crooks and billhooks.
See also: crook, hook

by hook or by crook

By whatever means possible, fair or unfair.
See also: crook, hook

by hook or by crook

By any means necessary to accomplish the purpose; one way or another. Several explanations for this phrase have come down over the years. One is that it refers to two Irish towns, Hook Head and Crook, through which Oliver Cromwell tried to capture the nearby city of Waterford. Another is a medieval custom of allowing villagers to collect for firewood any loose branches that they could pull down with a long-handled curved implement. A third explanation is the most plausible: shepherds rounded up their flocks by means of a crook, a long staff with a curved end. A shepherd would chase after a reluctant ram, ewe, or lamb and hook it with his staff by any means . . . by hook or by crook.
See also: crook, hook
References in periodicals archive ?
BY HOOK or by crook, even a dastardly band of pirates proved no match for Peter Pan when he journeyed to Neverland.
BY hook or by crook, the vested interests in Los Angeles City Hall will do whatever they can to keep the San Fernando Valley from getting fair representation on the City Council.
I also hope that, by hook or by crook, David Moyes can conjure up the one piece of the jigsaw which has so obviously been missing so far this season.
That's not unlike the enthusiasm and blissful ignorance that overcame San Francisco--based Harriet "Harry" Dodge and Silas Howard in 1997, when they decided to make their movie, By Hook or by Crook, premiering June 28 on the Sundance Channel.
WHETHER by hook or by crook, good planning or plain old dumb luck, Los Angeles is starting to look like a better place to do business.
The Sundance Channel's month-long Out Loud series will feature the lesbian festival hit By Hook or by Crook, a sneak peek at The Cockettes, a spotlight on French director Francois Ozon (Criminal Lovers), and a total of more than 30 GLBT features and docs.