Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hook v.1

1. UK Und. uses, in senses of using a lit. or fig. hook.

(a) to steal, to pilfer, esp. by cutting a hole in a shop window and ‘fishing’ for its contents with a hook on a string.

[UK]T. Tomkis Albumazar III iii: Is not this brauer then sneake all night in danger, Picking of lockes, or hooking cloathes at windowes?

(b) to steal, to rob; to pick a pocket; thus hooked adj., stolen.

[UK]Burns The Jolly Beggars in Works (1842) 11/2: For monie a pursie she had hooked.
Camden Commercial Courier (SC) 24 June 3/1: ‘I told Paul all about ketching you in that ere nasty trick; about hookin that ere Poetry last week’.
[US]J.C. Neal Peter Ploddy and Other Oddities 163: I know’d he’d hook your money!
[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 69: S’elp me! if a mauley like that there ain’t worth a jemmy a day to a kenobe at wiring. Why, they’re just made for hooking a fogle out of a clye.
[Aus]Brisbane Courier (Qld) 5 Feb. 4/5: ‘To hook’ is to steal, and here again the gravity of the crime is glozed over by the fantastic synonym.
[US]Night Side of N.Y. 38: He has already suffered the loss of his pocket-book [...] which was ‘hooked’ from him by some small thief.
[UK]Old Hunks in Darkey Drama 5 44: Buy? ha, ha! Hook it more like, when de hen ain’t lookin’.
[UK]M. Davitt Leaves from a Prison Diary I 114: It was quite easy to fix the attention of the victim by pointing out the excellencies of a picture or statue with one hand, while ‘hooking’ with the other.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 5 May 5/6: Carrie Asprey and Lizzie were all ‘hooking’ (slang for pocket-picking).
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Tom Sawyer, Detective 31: When he wasn’t looking I hooked it [i.e. a screwdriver].
[US]M. Kelly Little Citizens 204: I know where we can hook a banana. And the Ginney’s asleep.
[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 17 Jan. 10/4: [headline] Skvarehead’s Splosh. Hayes Charged With Hooking Hahn’s Hoot.
[US]J. Lait ‘Pics’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 267: Throw a fit, and while the charitable lady runs to get you a glass of water, hook the photo.
[US]C.S. Montanye ‘Perfect Crime’ in Penzler Pulp Fiction (2007) 353: She left a ten dollar bill on the bureau in her bedroom. Someone hooked it.
[US]O.O. McIntyre Bits of New York Life 8 Nov. [synd. col.] The hooked towels in hotels in a month if stretched end to end would reach from New York to Chicago.
[US]J. Spenser Limey 220: He showed her a letter he’d hooked from her room.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 171: I never let the same guy hook me twice.
[US]D. Dressler Parole Chief 244: Half the time they don’t even know [...] whether they’ve been hooked or just spent the dough.
[US]J.L. Herlihy Midnight Cowboy (1968) 155: While you was buying the underwear, I could have hooked the socks.
[US]G.V. Higgins Digger’s Game (1981) 136: I’m going back and hook the Vette.

2. in senses of SE hook, to ensnare.

(a) to fool, to practise a confidence trick upon, to swindle.

[US]Country Spy 40: Having thus hooked the Chub, I said [...] I desire no Recompense [HDAS].
[UK]Sporting Mag. Sept. VIII 316/2: He never did a favour that proved barren to his own design [...] All his kindnesses are artificial flies! if nothing is caught they are pocketed again. ‘Hook him or hang him,’ is a favourite maxim.
[UK]Comic Almanack Apr. 223: None of your gammon; you’re not going to hook me.
[UK]J. Greenwood Dick Temple I 199: I [...] have been hooking the flats as easy as ketching tittle-brats.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 2 Jan. 4/1: What puazzled me was, who the spielers expected to ‘hook’ in the crowd of sharks that were making for this tricky trysting place.
[US]W. Irwin Confessions of a Con Man 40: The grafters hook some rich, old, country sport.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 July 36/3: To each and every flathead who has been ‘hooked’ a cunningly worded epistle is despatched, stating that the recipient has been selected on account of some special qualification or other[...]. And here the mugs fall in.
[US]A. Baer Two & Three 10 Jan. [synd. col.] A boxing bug gets taken for a long walk and pays double fare the the privilege. He gets hooked six or seven times with the same bait and never gets a nibble.
[US]A.J. Barr Let Tomorrow Come 33: He’d hook his mother, that guy!
[US]B. Appel Brain Guy (1937) 60: If they aren’t friends of yours we can hook them.
[US]T. Thursday ‘There’s Hicks In All Trades’ in All Sports Feb. [Internet] He has hooked the natives for all the dough that he will need for some time.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 100/2: Hook, v. [...] 2. To swindle; to trick.
[US]W. Ritchie in Heller In This Corner (1974) 26: They thought I’d be hooked and sign some cockeyed contract that might not protect me at all.
[US]‘Randy Everhard’ Tattoo of a Naked Lady 6: Once I’ve hooked a live one into thinking he can take me for a ride, that’s when I nail him.

(b) (US) to arrest, to catch in a crime.

[UK]Hist. of the remarkable Life of John Sheppard 54: I thought once of taking the Windsor Coach for my self John Sheppard, by the Name of Crook – but fearing to be Hook’d in before my Journey’s End, I stept into Hedge-Lane.
[UK] ‘The Righteous Peeler’ in C. Hindley James Catnach (1878) 210: Housebreakers, too, I hook, / And with ’em I makes slaughter.
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers 1st ser. 1: The sarjunt he thout Hosea hedn’t gut his i teeth cut [...] so he cal’lated to hook him in, but Hosy woodn’t take none o’ his sarse.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 19 Oct. 3/2: One of [the girls] had been hooked and sent to the Repormatory.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Zigzags of Treachery’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 115: The average suspect tries to talk himself out of being arrested [but] if he’ll talk to you, and you play your cards right, you can hook him.
[UK]J. Franklyn This Gutter Life 285: One o’ the ugliest bogeys from the Yard has got his gig-lamps on me! If I don’t hike – I’m hooked.
[US]R. Chandler Lady in the Lake (1952) 165: It could be coincidence that George Talley was hooked for drunk-driving just when he was working on it [i.e a criminal case].
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 100/2: Hook, v. [...] 3. To arrest, with conviction almost certain.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 239: We don’t want to hook you with something you didn’t do.
[US]G.V. Higgins Cogan’s Trade (1975) 43: Then I got hooked and they try me.
[US]G.V. Higgins Rat on Fire (1982) 9: Clinker didn’t last long. I’ll say that for him. [...] How long was he on the street, he got hooked gain? A week?

(c) to attract, esp. into marriage.

[UK] ‘All England Are Slanging It’ Universal Songster I 40/1: Young ladies [...] with their ogles flash away, / In hopes to hook some nob.
[US]G.G. Foster N.Y. in Slices 78: Here [...] he allows himself to be importuned by ‘cotton’ mothers and fascinated by irresistible young Iadies. [...] Were there but one, he would be hooked in a fortnight – he is so good-natured.
[UK] in G.D. Atkin House Scraps (1887) 24: They tried to hook him, but the plot miscarried.
[UK]Thackeray Adventures of Philip (1899) 356: Some hanged adventurer, thinking you were to get money from me, has hooked you for his daughter, has he?
[UK]C. Hindley Life and Adventures of a Cheap Jack 303: This young Irish Don Juan was continually in love with some girl or another, until at last Mary MacDonald hooked him.
[UK] ‘’Arry on Marriage’ in Punch 29 Sept. 156/1: You’ve ’eard ’Arry was ’ooked after all, and engaged to old Suddlewig’s gal?
[UK]Kipling ‘The Story of the Gadbsys’ in Soldiers Three (1907) 132: Gaddy’s hooked at last!
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Corinna’s Courage’ Sporting Times 3 Nov. 1/4: That’s how Corinna hooked him for her husband, don’cherknow.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 23 Jan. 3/6: It’s a story of a gell, as / In a fortune teller’s drum, / Hooked a parson.
[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 28 Aug. [synd. cartoon] Hello Mr Watts. Waitin’ for Norma? Pop says she hooked you fine. Did it hurt much?
[US]O.O. McIntyre Bits of New York Life 4 Dec. [synd. col.] What is more, she hooked a ‘live one.’.
[Ire]Joyce Ulysses 122: Daughter engaged to that chap in the inland revenue office with the motor. Hooked that nicely.
[UK]R. Westerby Wide Boys Never Work (1938) 61: In this rain, and with the blister I got on me heel, I couldn’t hook a drunk Welshman.
[US](con. early 1930s) C. McKay Harlem Glory (1990) 87: I nevah seen any colored people more African than you all. I don’t know how come I got mahself hooked by one.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 55: Strike me pink, what comes over some blokes when a sheila hooks them?
[US]G. Marx letter 4 Aug. in Groucho Letters (1967) 50: Women always seem so much more joyous than men when another schlepper gets hooked.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 64: I ain’t thinkin’ about that tramp. Don’t no broad hook me.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘The Second Time Around’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] I remember the last time she hooked him.

(d) to attract, to catch the eye of.

[UK]H. Nisbet Bushranger’s Sweetheart 199: She had managed to hook her sea-captain.
[UK]P. O’Donnell Islanders (1933) 100: When ye find women hookin’ men they never were given any licence to mix with, down the public street ...
[US]N. Algren Walk on the Wild Side 60: He didn’t want to lose a rookie, but he didn’t want to hook a lemon.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 134: I saw her round black ass hook a white trick in a black Hog.
[US]L. Rosten Dear ‘Herm’ 147: His advertising is what hooks people: ‘Buy Your Car from Carmichael!’.
Albert Collins Hooked on You [blues lyrics] I’m goin’ hooked on you / Hooked on you.
[US]R. Shell Iced 129: Nodding to and hooking all the pussy we could bag.

(e) to (over)charge.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 45: Tell him what the taxi man hooked you for.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 201: If you get a hold of some cat that is strung out and you can hook him for more on a bag, the difference is yours.

(f) (drugs) to make someone addicted to drugs.

[US] AS IV:1 20: My observations have led me to believe that the drug addict is ‘hooked’ by ‘dope’ talk as well as by the ‘dope’ itself.
[US]N. Algren Man with the Golden Arm 165: I seen the way he hooked a couple of them [...] kids onto the needle.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 100/2: Hook, v. 1. To make a narcotic addict of.
[US](con. 1950s) H. Simmons Man Walking On Eggshells 167: She hooked him, she had him snakebit.
[US](con. WWII) T. Sanchez Hollywoodland (1981) 106: They wouldn’t have let Horse loose in the Barrio, hooking young kids.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 608: Me bossman. I run Can Lao. We share lab space. I no hook GIs.

(g) (US black) to cost.

[US]‘Master Pimp’ Pimp’s Rap 141: The coat hooked (cost) me for $425.00.

3. (also hook it) in senses of SE hook, move with a sudden twist or turn.

(a) to run off, to escape.

[US]E. Bangs ‘The Yankee’s Return From Camp’ in Silber Songs of Independence (1973) 78: It scared me so I hooked it off.
[UK]‘A Rum-Un to Look At’ in Libertine’s Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) I 136: Her charms folks may hook at, / She’s a rum-un to look at.
[UK] ‘The Man About Town’ in Nobby Songster 22: So I hooked it to my poll, who received me with open arms.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 61: Hook it, you gonniff, cross kid – hook it scarper, speel!
[Aus]Melbourne Punch 20 Nov. 3/1: Proposals for a New Slang Dictionary [...] ABSQUATULATE.—Originally written Absquostatulate. Verb neuter: To clear, to vamos, to mizzle, to cut one's stick, to hook it, to slide, to bolt to break out, etc.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Tales of College Life 28: Hook it! the Peeler’s a-coming!
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 11 May 3/3: [He] ordered Jones to produce evidence of good character before he was discharged; which being done, Jones ‘hooked it‘.
[UK]H. Kingsley Ravenshoe II 163: They all begins to get a bit noisy and want to fight, and so I hooked it.
[UK]Five Years’ Penal Servitude 246: When one or other of us gets tired we can hook it.
[UK]Newcastle Courant 16 Sept. 6/5: We’ll have to hook the shlowery and cushion; we’ll have to go by the first train.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) VI 1240: Now hook it smart you bitch.
[UK]Kipling ‘The Solid Muldoon’ in Soldiers Three (1907) 53: He’s been hookin’ out av Purgathory to kape company wid Mrs. Bragin ivry evenin’ for the last fortnight.
[UK]Morton & LeBrunn [perf. Marie Lloyd] Don’t Laugh [lyrics] But eat your dinner, peas and lamb / And lovely tarts of strawberry jam / [...] / Then hook it!
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 4 Mar. 1/3: And yet two British legions, sent to rook it, / Were forced, by half-armed savages, to hook it.
[UK]Sporting Times 1 Apr. 1/2: The noble fellow grinned when he saw that he had sinned, / And ‘hooked it’.
[UK]Gem 16 Sept. 12: ‘Better hook it!’ muttered Melchior.
[UK]A. Christie Secret Adversary (1955) 91: ‘Mrs Vandermeyer is trying to hook it’.
[NZ]Truth (Wellington) 14 July 5/4: The other joker, not having a police record as a spieler and guesser [...] was told to hook it.
[Aus]N. Lindsay Age Of Consent 85: I made up my mind then and there I’d hook it out of town that very night.
[UK]P. Kavanagh Tarry Flynn (1965) 207: ‘Hook it, now,’ said the priest.
[UK]I. & P. Opie Lore and Lang. of Schoolchildren (1977) 213: Hook it, make yourself scarce.
[UK]‘Frank Richards’ Billy Bunter at Butlins 39: ‘Hook it!’ grunted Johnny Bull.

(b) to go about one’s own business.

[UK]Sam Sly 28 Apr. 3/1: We advise the beauty of Ship-street, Mrs. D—es, to be rather more circumspect in her conduct[...] it is high time you either reformed or hooked it.
[UK](con. 1840s–50s) H. Mayhew London Labour and London Poor (1968) I 25/2: Aye! that’s the way the harristocrats hooks it. There’s nothing o’ that sort among us.
[UK]W.B. Churchward Blackbirding In The South Pacific 42: Can’t you see I am sleeping? And I want more; so hook it.
[UK]C. Rook Hooligan Nights 43: The inspector told me I could ’ook it.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Nov. 44/1: I stays there a week while they fixes me thinker up, an’ then they fires me. Sez they: ‘We can’t keep a cove till the end of his little finger grows again; so ’ook it.’.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 287: Pack your traps and get ready to hook it first thing mornin’ time. D’ you hear? If I find you on the run tomorrer mornin’ I’ll belt you.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 40: George then hooked it for three hours.

(c) (US) to play truant.

[US]E.H. Babbitt ‘College Words and Phrases’ in DN II:i 41: hook, v. To absent one’s self from class.
[US]Cab Calloway Of Minnie the Moocher and Me 15: I hooked school and hustled in the streets.
[US]Algeo Stud Buds and Dorks 2: To not go to class...hook, hookey, play hookey [HDAS].
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 33: Hook school and go shoot some pool.

4. in senses of grabbing or grasping.

(a) (US, orig. tramp) to steal a ride on a train or other vehicle, to hitchhike.

[US]Irwin Amer. Tramp and Und. Sl. 102: Even the boys who catch rides on the back of drays and wagons referring to the practice as ‘hooking’ a ride.
[US](con. 1940s) E. Thompson Tattoo (1977) 51: Once a clumsy kid, Bobby Scrovis, had hooked a freight with them and been swept off the ladder [...] His head was crushed under the wheels.
[US]S. King It (1987) 939: He had somehow found his way out to Route 2 and had hooked a ride to the home place.

(b) to catch a train, a bus etc.

[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 77: Hook a bus, hook a freight, anything making southward smoke.

(c) (US campus) to engage in love making.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 5: hook – to kiss passionately.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 5: hook/hook up – [...] engage in sexual activities. ‘I hear that Dave hooked with three different chicks from that mixer.’.
OnLine Sl. Dict. 5 Jan. [Internet] Last night I hooked him.

(d) (US black) to search for.

[US]cited in C. Major Juba to Jive (1994).

(e) (US campus) to help.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 5: hook someone – do a favor, help someone.

(f) (US drugs) to find or obtain something.

[US]T. Williams Crackhouse 149: hooking locating or finding something desirable.

5. (drugs) to inject narcotics.

[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 92: You’ve been hooking that spot so much it’s about to get infected.

In derivatives

hookery (n.)

the criminal world of thieving, confidence trickery etc.

[Ire]J. Waters Magill Sept. n.p.: His [...] were the politics of the stroke, the fixer, the parish pump, of graft, hookery, crookery and whatever you’re having yourself [BS].
[Ire]H. Leonard Out After Dark 7: Others, less favoured, muttered peevishly that there was no justice, that hookery paid, and honesty was an also-ran.

In phrases

hook in (v.) (also hook into)

1. (US) to get introduced to or put in touch with, to entice.

[UK]‘Peter Pindar’ ‘Orson and Ellen’ Works (1801) V 349: Pastry-cooks should [...] To sell their tarts and pies; Put in their shop some pretty Lass, To hook in passing eyes.
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers (1880) 1: So he cal’lated to hook him in.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 25 Feb. 14: It was the anger and poetry which hooked me in.

2. to associate oneself with.

[UK] ‘’Arry on ’appiness’ in Punch 3 Jan. 4/1: And so because I’m out of luck, and that differ has landed the chink, / She ’ooks into him, like a bat to a belfry, Sir!
[US] T. Hampson diary 27 Sept. [Internet] Sure enough we had orders to get ready to go to the support of a Division to the eastward which was being pressed. After hooking in and being all ready we didn’t go after all.

3. (Aus./US) to get involved in.

[US]J. Lait Gangster Girl 43: He’s hooked in wit’ Tamm’ny an’ he’s no pushover.
[UK]Guardian Media 21 June 5: Suppose those magazines are no longer hooked into women’s lives?
hook it (v.)

see sense 3 above.

hook jack (v.)

(US) to play truant.

[US]Bartlett Dict. Americanisms (4th edn).
[US]J.C. Lincoln Partners of the Tide 70: The boy ‘hooked Jack’ for a whole day, because he wouldn’t wear the things to school.
[US] ‘Gatherings From Newspapers’ in DN IV:iv 305: hook Jack, n. phr. = hookey.
hook off (v.)

see separate entries.

hook one’s bait (v.) (also hook one’s mutton)

1. (Aus./N.Z.) to escape, to run off.

[NZ]Milton Love and Chiffon 233: Look slippy, buddies. Hook your muttons for an extra.
[Aus]Baker N.Z. Sl. 53: To hook one’s bait or mutton, to depart (a variant of the English sling one’s hook).
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 234/1: hook your bait (hook your mutton) – go away.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 51: He decides he’ll run a grouter on the Lord, and hook his bait.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 57/2: hook your mutton clear out.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].

2. (N.Z.) to dance with someone.

[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 104: hook one’s bait/mutton [...] 2. Engage a partner in a dance. [...] 1920s ANZ.
hook up (v.)

1. (US) to enter into a relationship, e.g. marriage.

[US]Ade ‘The Fable of What Horace Stood For’ in True Bills 36: Horace often suspected that some of them hooked up merely to get a Whack at the Finery. But then, Horace was a regular old Cynic.
[US]T.A. Dorgan Indoor Sports 4 Apr. [synd. cartoon] What did I get when I got hooked up — a bum lamp.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Mar. 6: hook-up – to date seriously.
[Aus]L. Redhead Cherry Pie [ebook] He and Chloe had hooked up a few months before.

2. (US) to become involved in, e.g. an argument.

[US]H.G. Van Campen ‘Life on Broadway’ in McClure’s Mag. Mar. 36/1: Then him an’ the guy it was for hooked up in a tur’ble row.

3. to meet.

[US](con. 1990s) J. Miller One of the Guys 43: She became gang-involved when she ‘hooked up with’ another gang member in a residential facility.
[UK](con. 1980s) I. Welsh Skagboys 213: Alexander had left a message sayin he wanted tae hook up.

4. (US drugs) to establish a professional relationship with.

[US]Codella and Bennett Alphaville (2011) 69: Arthur’s plan [is to] redistribute the material to the dealers he’s hooked up in Brooklyn.
on the hook

1. engaging in theft.

[UK]Marvel 21 Apr. 352: A ’cute kid that, if yer could once get ’im on the ’ook.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Significant Strains’ Sporting Times 9 May 1/3: The presence close at hand / Of two feminines, the housemaid and the cook / Gave the game away sufficiently to make us understand / Why they chanced to be so handy on the ‘hook’.
[UK]J. Phelan Letters from the Big House 57: He’s on the hook orl right. Collidge, engineer, diploamers, stiffkits, letters arter ’is name, but on the hook.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).

2. (US) playing truant.

[US] in W. McCay Little Nemo 71: And other desperadoes, who / Had been on many ‘hooks,’ / Now came to school in model style, / Each bringing all his books.
[US]H. Roth Call It Sleep (1977) 246: He’s onna hook.
[US]I. Shulman Amboy Dukes 72: Your mom’s found out about you going on the hook?
‘Vin Packer’ Tough and Violent 126: Nothin’ Brown is also on the hook from school today.

3. see hooked adj.2

on the hook(s)

1. under control.

[UK]Binstead & Wells A Pink ’Un and a Pelican 210: Ball had a rare job to keep Shillin’ton on the hooks after that.

2. in debt to, whether actual or fig.; under the influence of.

[US]H. McCoy Corruption City 63: You were on the hook to a couple of the bigger boys.
[UK]P. Boyle All Looks Yellow to the Jaundiced Eye 57: I had him on the hook.
[UK]P. Fordham Inside the Und. 109: I never thought that day would come when I should get a gentleman like So-and-So on the hook.

SE in slang uses

In phrases

hook down (v.)

to swallow, usu. in the context of drugs.

[US]T. Wolfe Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1966) 6: Hopping himself up with good old amphetamine [...] then hooking down more alcohol.
[US]T. Wolfe Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1969) 47: Kesey and his circle would be hooking down something that in the entire world only they and a few avant-garde neuropharmacological researchers even knew about.
hook onto (v.)

1. to attach oneself to someone, to follow about.

[UK]Morn. Post 18 Dec. 3/3: I hooks on a covey, so smilin’ and smug / Vich Bill comes behind and puts on the hug.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 22 Aug. 12/3: All this reminds us that once in the whirl of a giddy age we endeavoured to hook on to something symmetrical inside a black satin skirt and a seal-skin jacket.
[UK] ‘’Arry on the ’Oliday Season’ in Punch 16 Aug. 74/1: ’Ardly know which is lummiest, swelp me! It’s nuts to ’ook on to a swell.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 July 15/1: I can shake a loose leg, so I hooked on to a fine gal – a reg’lar stunner. She went for me and I began serously [sic] to think of makin’ her Mrs. Muggins.
[UK]Eve. Post 26 Nov. 6/4: ‘Does yer maw know you’re aht?’ says the girl. ‘Not ’arf’ retorts the gay Lothario; and they hook on forthwith.

2. to discover.

[US]‘Old Sleuth’ Dock Rats of N.Y. (2006) 8: Remember you’re nobody’s child, and I’ve hooked on to the secret.
hook up (with)

see separate entries.