"by hook or by crook"(Phrase Origins)
This phrase formerly meant "by fair means or foul", although now it often (especially in the U.K.) means simply "by whatever necessary means". The first recorded use is by John Wycliffe in _Controversial Tracts_ (circa 1380). Theories include: a law or custom in mediaeval England that allowed peasants to take as firewood from the King's forests any deadwood that they could reach with a shepherd's crook and cut off with a reaper's billhook; rhyming words for "direct" (reachable with a long hook) and "indirect" (roundabout); beginners' writing exercises, where letters have hooks and brackets are "crooks"; and from "Hook" and "Crook", the names of headlands on either side of a bay north of Waterford, Ireland, referring to a captain's determination to make the haven of the bay in bad weather using one headland or the other as a guide.
This is a temporary page for the development of aue FAQ material and the testing of scripts.
Please do not bookmark this page.