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Etymology 1[edit]

Attested in 1848 in New York City. Most likely from Dutch hoekje (nook, corner; 'spot to hide' in hide-and-seek). Formerly, "hoekje spelen" could be used to mean "to play hide-and-seek", though the common term for the game nowadays is verstoppertje.


hooky (uncountable)

  1. Absence from school or work; truancy. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
    Let's play hooky and go to the mall.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From hook +‎ -y.


hooky (comparative hookier, superlative hookiest)

  1. Full of hooks (all senses).
    Sew the hooky half of the Velcro on the inner side so that it doesn't pick up fluff.
    • 2020 November 9, Gwen Ihnat, “With McCartney III, Paul McCartney offers lessons from a legendary life”, in The A.V. Club:
      At least the mostly instrumental kickoff “Long Tailed Winter Bird” offers a hooky acoustic guitar riff you can’t blame McCartney for hanging on to as long as he does.
  2. Shaped like or resembling a hook; hooked.
  3. (UK, slang) Dodgy; crooked; illicit.
    • 2015, Marnie Riches, The Girl Who Wouldn't Die
      Start a thing in the street and attract attention to bags full of hooky gear? No. She was smarter than that.
    • 2016, Alan Tootill, Cole and the Clairvoyant (page 45)
      So I decided to put on my seediest voice and leer, and go round offering the traders the Cole line in cheap hooky goods.