By Hook or By Crook

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By Hook or By Crook : Phrases


To accomplish something by whatever means necessary; in one way or another; by fair means or foul.


Don't worry. By hook or by crook we will get to the airport on time.


Curiously Hook and Crook mean essentially the same thing.

Hook is a curved or bent device for catching, holding, or pulling. Something intended to attract and ensnare. Crook is an implement having a bent or hooked form. Hence the hook is used to grab whatever it is you are trying to get, crook is just another way of saying hook.

I am reminded of beg, borrow, and steal which means the same thing. Note the steal. Crook is also a thief. Hence by hook or by crook also impies you are willing to resort to theft.

Alternative: Relating to old forest laws of England, the sole right of common people to enter the forests without permission was for the removal of dead wood from the ground or dead branches of the trees, in other words, as could be brought down by the use of the reaper's hook or a shepherd's crook.

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