hooker

Definitions

General English

Slang

  • noun a prostitute (invariably female). This American term has been imported into British and Australian usage since the mid-1970s. The origin of the word is stated authoritatively by many works of reference. However, they disagree. The most popular version cites the Civil War commander, General Hooker, who supposedly encouraged his men to frequent brothels. Another source gives Corlear’s hook, the name of a New york red-light district, as the inspiration for the term. In fact hooker seems to have been in use with its current meaning as early as 1845 (which invalidates the Civil War explanation) and may simply be a figurative use of the literal meaning as ‘enticer’, ‘ensnarer’, a sense which it has in Dutch slang (hoeker would be known to the large Dutch-American population of New York as meaning ‘huckster’, for instance). Hooker was obsolescent by the 1920s, but was revived in the late 1960s.

Sports

  • noun a front row forward who hooks the ball out of the scrum
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