pothooks (and hangers) n.
1. bad handwriting.
|Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Pot-hooks Scrawls or bad Writing.|
|[||Journal to Stella (1901) 289: No, ’tis not your pen is bewitched, Madam Stella, but your scrawling, splay-foot pot-hooks] .letter xxix 8 Sept. in|
|Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue (3rd edn) n.p.: Pothooks and Hangers. A scrawl, bad writing.|
|Lectures on Art of Writing (1840) 42: I devote the next Quarter to what is vulgarly designated ‘pot-hooks and hangers’.|
|Life in London (1869) 312: Who’s to understand it? vy it’s full of pothooks and hangers.|
|Flash Dict. in Sinks of London Laid Open.|
|Worcs. Chron. 2 Oct. 4/5: The so-called hieroglyphics were nothing more than the pothooks and hangers of some German urchin learning to write.|
|Londres et les Anglais 316/2: pothooks and hangers, griffonnage, mauvaise écriture.|
|Isle of Wight Obs. 16 July 6/1: Written in an uncomfortable style [...] mixed and interspersed with pot-hooks and hangers, with an apostrophe turned into a full-stop.|
|Aus. Town & Country Jrnl 4 Apr. 14: A msall girl who had spent a weary morning battling with pot-hooks and crooked S’s.|
|Advertiser (Adelaide) 18 Dec. 8/9: He made me do pothooks for them, and said I couldn’t write my name.|
|Public Ledger (Maysville, KY) 29 June 2/3: ‘Look at my copy, Teacher’ [...] Pothooks and worse than pothooks; scratches and blots galore.|
2. (orig. Aus.) shorthand.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 28 Mar. 6/1: McDonnel, the Victorian cricketer, has, it is said, obtained a billet in N. S. Wales. In the letter resigning his Victorian Government appointment, he says: ‘It is but too apparent that there is no prospect for any junior in the service.’ This is not bad from a chap who passed in pothooks and hangers.|
|Pacific Commercial Advertiser (Honolulu, HI) 13 Nov. 6/2: Pothook Expert [...] His skill at pothooks and hangers had much to do with his subsequent advancement.|
|L.A. Herald 8 May 51/1: He was the youngest, greenest [...] reporter that ever scribbled pothooks and hangers.|
|Sheffield Wkly Teleg. 21 Aug. 17/2: Pothooks and Hangers [...] an accomplished shorthand writer promised to tell her all the minister said.|
|Challis Messenger (IO) 6 July 6/1: He had begged her toi teach him the art of shorthand [...] She handed him a nitebook [...] containing a neat array of pothooks and hangers.|