Green’s Dictionary of Slang

sling one’s hook v.

also sling, sling it, take a hook,’s hook, ...the hook, take one’s hook
[? the raising of the anchor (hook) before departure or the SE hook on which a working miner left his day clothes. When he finished his shift he removed his possessions from the hook and left for home]

1. to leave.

[UK]Derby Day 102: You take a hook, now, d’ye hear?
[US]Memphis Dly Appeal (TN) 12 Mar. 3/3: ‘I slung my hook’ and ‘collared his poke’.
[UK] ‘A Conversation on the Coming Elections’ in C. Hindley Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 80: Your goose will be cooked, and you must take your hook.
[UK]G.R. Sims Dagonet Ballads 84: You’ll never have nowt in your headpiece till poems has taken their hook.
[UK]Dundee Courier 13 June 7/5: Why, where’s Sam: took his hook?
[UK]S. Watson Wops the Waif 13/1: ‘What did you do to bring yourself here?’ ‘Slung my bloomin’ hook from the “Placable,” sir.’.
[UK]G.R. Sims ‘Jackson’ Dagonet Ditties 111: They scorn to betray him by gesture or look, / And are ‘mum’ till the murderer’s taken his hook.
[UK]Albert Chevalier ‘I’ve Got ’Er ’At’ [lyrics] Then blowed if she don’t go for me, An’ I slings my bloomin’ ’ook!
[UK]A. Morrison Tales of Mean Streets (1983) 72: ‘As you’re a well-meanin’ young man, so to speak, an’ all settled an’ a-livin’ ’ere quiet an’ matrimonial I’ll’—this with a burst of generosity—‘damme, yus, I’ll compound the felony, an’ take me ’ook.’.
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 58: The tiger an’ the new slavey’d slung wiv the lot.
[UK]R. Whiteing No. 5 John Street 53: An’ blow me if I shan’t be sold up too, if I don’t soon sling my ’ook, an’ git some more.
[UK]Sporting Times 17 Mar. 1/4: ’Nuff said—sling your hook.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 10 Apr. 2/5: And then he goes and slinks away / A-takin of his hook.
[US]J. London People of the Abyss 99: ‘Come on, let’s sling it,’ I said to one of my mates, pointing toward the open gate.
[UK]H.G. Wells Kipps (1952) 296: ’E’s speculated their money, and now ’e’s took ’is hook.
[UK]A. Perry [perf. Marie Lloyd] William ’Enry Sarnders [lyrics] Well then, - William ’Enry Sarnders, / You can take your bloomin’ hook.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 19 Feb. 3/7: Well, he’s gone, and gaud knows whither / Now, as he a-took his hook.
[UK]P. MacGill The Great Push 41: Gentlemen, the Guards, / When the brick fields they took / The Germans took the hook / And left the Gentlemen in charge!
[UK]N. Douglas London Street Games 66: Lady, lady show your foot, / Lady, lady sling your hook.
[UK]J.B. Priestley Good Companions 137: Summers slung ’is ’ook. [Ibid.] 369: This bobby remembers me and begins making a few enquiries like, and they find out I’ve taken me hook all of a sudden. [Ibid.] 571: Nar, tak’ your hook.
[UK](con. WWI) A.E. Strong in Partridge Sl. Today and Yesterday 287: Fritz landed a daisy-cutter and the transport driver done his block and took his hook.
[UK]J. Curtis They Drive by Night 223: You can sling your hook any time you feel like it. [Ibid.] 237: Take your hook out of it. I don’t want to see no more of you.
[UK]K.B. Poole ‘The Gift’ in Lehmann Penguin New Writing No. 33 158: Tea bong an’ when yer’ve drunk it yer can push orf. Savvy? Sling yer ’ook.
[UK]A. Sillitoe ‘Disgrace of Jim Scarfedale’ Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner (1960) 120: I’ll never let anybody try and tell me that you don’t have to sling your hook as soon as you get to the age of fifteen.
[Aus]D. Ireland Burn 69: Pick your mate up [...] Then sling yer hook.
[UK]S. Armitage ‘All Beer and Skittles’ in Zoom 17: So I slung my hook and went for a coffee.
[UK]G. Burn Happy Like Murderers 347: You’re on your own, feller. Sling your hook. You’re out.
[UK]B. Hare Urban Grimshaw 236: ‘Lend us a fucking tenner!’ ‘No, sling thy hook.’.

2. to die.

[UK]C. Hindley Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 143: For when they do take their hook, who cares for them?
[UK]D. Stewart Vultures of the City in Illus. Police News 8 Dec. 12/1: ‘I wonders if the old barrow-night has pegged out yet. [...] I’ve heard as he’s been a hot ’un in his time; if he slings his hook to-night he’ll go off with fireworks.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Nov. 14/4: At that very moment the housekeeper came in to say a snake had bit the yaller hen and she had just slung her hook, leaving four hens to carry on the stud.