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

be crook on (one)

To be irritated or displeased by someone or something. Primarily heard in Australia. Well, of course I'm crook on them for not inviting me to the party! Wouldn't you be?
See also: crook, on

go crook

1. To become angry or irritated. Primarily heard in Australia. Of course he went crook—you insulted him in front of the whole town!
2. To get sick. Primarily heard in Australia. Oh, she went crook last night, so I'm here to take her place.
See also: crook

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

crook one's elbow

Also, bend one's elbow. Drink liquor, especially a great deal. For example, Bill is known to crook his elbow now and then, or Uncle Joe rather overdoes it with bending his elbow. Both slangy expressions allude to the motion of lifting a drink to one's lips, which involves bending the elbow. The first dates from about 1820, and the second from about 1900.
See also: crook, elbow

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

be crook on

be annoyed by. Australian & New Zealand informal
See also: crook, on

go crook

1 lose your temper; become angry. 2 become ill. Australian & New Zealand informal
Crook in late 19th-century Australian slang meant ‘bad’ or ‘unpleasant’.
1 1950 Coast to Coast 1949–50 What'd you do if you were expelled? Y'r old man'd go crook, I bet.
See also: crook

by hook or by crook

by one means or another; by fair means or foul.
The hook referred to here is probably a billhook or heavy curved pruning knife; one of the earliest recorded instances of this phrase is in Gower's Confessio Amantis ( 1390 ), which uses the rare word hepe (meaning ‘a pruning knife’) in place of hook . Various etymologies for the expression have been put forward, none of them entirely convincing. In 1822 William Cobbett wrote of people who lived near woodland being allowed, under the ancient forest law of England, to gather dead branches for fuel, which they may have brought down from the trees literally by hook or by crook .
1998 Adèle Geras Silent Snow, Secret Snow Till then, she would hang on. By hook or by crook. Come what may.
See also: crook, hook

by ˌhook or by ˈcrook

(of something difficult) by any method, whether it is honest or not: Don’t worry — we’ll have the money ready by 4 o’clock, by hook or by crook.This may come from the practice in the past of allowing workers to use the tools of their trade (billhooks for farm workers, crooks for shepherds) to pull down loose wood from their employer’s trees to use as firewood.
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 ?
In fact, Crooks (pictured) sees no reason why the Magpies cannot overhaul Manchester City and Manchester United in future seasons - if Benitez receives substantial backing in the transfer market.
Crooks said: "I've seen video clips of him, and he still has all his old shirts and trophies.
Crooks has retained the services of former Glentoran hero Johnny Jameson, who was brought to the club initially by Lockhart, while Darren Frame, who broke his leg playing for Sirocco earlier in the season, has also joined the backroom team.
Crooks is listed at 6ft tall, but he is now well over that, and weighs in at 11st 5lb (72kg).
During the incident, Crooks can be heard threatening to slap Williams .
Mr Crooks, a 46-year-old production worker, also wrote two notes to his sister saying he would walk into the sea on January 6.
The panel was very welcoming to our views and made me feel very comfortable," Crooks continued.
Crooks had previously admitted two offences of harassing Ms Webster and two of battery between 2001 and 2005.
In many of his cases, the key to the crime lies in the patterns of the victim, not the crook.
At a time when many teenagers are planning their futures, Adrian Crooks is living his.
Caution: If purchases under a certain dollar amount do not require any verification, crooks can take advantage of this.
Mitchell Crooks was taken into custody on warrants issued in northern California for petty theft and drunken driving.
Reading Dennis Levine's book about his life and crimes on Wall Street, it was hard not to think of that old phrase that accompanied the publication of memoirs by Watergate conspirators: Don't buy books from crooks.
Hall of Shame" profiles a handful of the most notorious crooks of the past 30 years and their schemes that literally bilked tens of millions from unsuspecting retail clients.