Hooker

[hoo k-er]
noun
  1. Joseph,1814–79, Union general in the U.S. Civil War.
  2. Richard,1554?–1600, English author and clergyman.
  3. Thomas,1586?–1647, English Puritan clergyman: one of the founders of the colony of Connecticut.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for thomas hooker

hooker

1
noun
  1. a commercial fishing boat using hooks and lines instead of nets
  2. a sailing boat of the west of Ireland formerly used for cargo and now for pleasure sailing and racing

Word Origin for hooker

C17: from Dutch hoeker

hooker

2
noun
  1. a person or thing that hooks
  2. US and Canadian slang
    1. a draught of alcoholic drink, esp of spirits
    2. a prostitute
  3. rugby the central forward in the front row of a scrum whose main job is to hook the ball

Hooker

noun
  1. John Lee. 1917–2001, US blues singer and guitarist
  2. Sir Joseph Dalton. 1817–1911, British botanist; director of Kew Gardens (1865–85)
  3. Richard. 1554–1600, British theologian, who influenced Anglican theology with The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1593–97)
  4. Sir William Jackson. 1785–1865, British botanist; first director of Kew Gardens: father of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for thomas hooker

hooker

n.

"prostitute," often traced to the disreputable morals of the Army of the Potomac (American Civil War) under the tenure of Gen. "Fighting Joe" Hooker (early 1863), and the word might have been popularized by this association at that time (though evidence is wanting). But it is reported to have been in use in North Carolina c.1845 ("[I]f he comes by way of Norfolk he will find any number of pretty Hookers in the Brick row not far from French's hotel. Take my advice and touch nothing in the shape of a prostitute when you come through Raleigh, for in honest truth the clap is there of luxuriant growth." letter quoted in Norman E. Eliason, "Tarheel Talk," 1956).

One early theory traces it to Corlear's Hook, a section of New York City.

HOOKER. A resident of the Hook, i.e. a strumpet, a sailor's trull. So called from the number of houses of ill-fame frequented by sailors at the Hook (i.e. Corlear's Hook) in the city of New York. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1859]

Perhaps related to hooker "thief, pickpocket" (1560s), but most likely a reference to prostitutes hooking or snaring clients. Hook in the figurative sense of "that by which anyone is attracted or caught" is recorded from early 15c.; and hook (v.) in the figurative sense of "catch hold of and draw in" is attested from 1570s; in reference to "fishing" for a husband or a wife, it was in common use from c.1800. All of which makes the modern sense seem a natural step. Cf. French accrocheuse, raccrocheuse, common slang term for "street-walker, prostitute," literally "hooker" of men.

The family name Hooker (attested from c.975 C.E.) would mean "maker of hooks," or else refer to an agricultural laborer who used a hook (cf. Old English weodhoc "weed-hook").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper