1 [hook-er]
a person or thing that hooks.
Slang. prostitute.
Slang. a large drink of liquor.
Slang. a concealed problem, flaw, or drawback; a catch.
Rugby. a player who hooks the ball in the front line of scrummage.
(initial capital letter) Offensive. an Amish Mennonite.

1560–70; 1835–45, Americanism for def 2; hook1 + -er1

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2 [hook-er]
noun Nautical.
Slang. any old-fashioned or clumsy vessel.
any fishing vessel working with hooks and lines rather than nets.

1635–45; < Dutch hoeker, equivalent to hoek hook1 + -er -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hooker1 (ˈhʊkə)
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
[C17: from Dutch hoeker]

hooker2 (ˈhʊkə)
1.  a person or thing that hooks
2.  slang (US), (Canadian)
 a.  a draught of alcoholic drink, esp of spirits
 b.  a prostitute
3.  rugby the central forward in the front row of a scrum whose main job is to hook the ball

Hooker (ˈhʊkə)
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 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"prostitute," often traced to the disreputable morals of the Army of the Potomac (American Civil War) under the tenure of Gen. "Fighting Joe" Hooker (1863), and the word probably was popularized by this association at that time. But it is said to have been in use in North Carolina c.1845 ("If he comes
by way of Norfolk he will find any number of pretty Hookers in the Brick row not far from French's hotel."). One theory traces it to Corlear's Hook, a disreputable section of New York City. Perhaps related to hooker "thief, pickpocket" (1567), but most likely an allusion to prostitutes hooking or snaring clients. Hook in the figurative sense of "that by which anyone is attracted or caught" is recorded from 1430; and hook (v.) in the figurative sense of "catch hold of and draw in" is attested from 1577; 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. 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. O.E. weodhoc "weed-hook").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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