Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Hook, Hooks.

 Hoodman Blind.Hook it! 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Hook, Hooks.
He is off the hooks. Done for, laid on the shelf, superseded, dead. The bent pieces of iron on which the hinges of a gate rest and turn are called hooks; if a gate is off the hooks it is in a bad way, and cannot readily be opened and shut.   1
   On one’s own hook. On one’s own responsibility or account. An angler’s phrase.   2
   To fish with a golden hook. To give bribes. “Pêcher avec un hameçon d’or.” Risk a sprat to catch a mackerel. To buy fish, and pretend to have caught it.   3
   With a hook at the end. My assent is given with a hook at the end means not intended to be kept. In some parts of Germany, even to the present day, when a witness swears falsely, he crooks one finger into a sort of hook, and this is supposed sufficient to avert the sin of perjury. It is a crooked oath, or an oath “with a hook at the end.” (See OVER THE LEFT.)   4
   N.B. Ringing the bells backwards, and repeating the Lord’s Prayer backwards belong to the same class of superstitions.   5

 Hoodman Blind.Hook it! 


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