The part of a pop song which causes you to want to hear it again. Probably the best parody of this idea is by Blues Traveler in their song by the same name on their 1994 CD, Four. However, a good hook is always a thing of beauty. One modern band who has the concept of a hook down pat is Fastball. Their song, The Way, has one of the best hooks of the decade.

Alternately, a golf shot which travels from the right to left, for a right-handed player.

A type of play in Scrabble and other crossword games.

A hook involves extending a previously played word by one letter, and playing a word perpendicular to the previous word through the new letter. By doing this, you can score both the existing word and the new word. This is particularly powerful in Scrabble if extension letter is played on a double or triple word score square, as you will multiply the scores of both words.

The word "hook" is also sometimes used to describe the extension of a word by one letter, somewhat the opposite of a curtailment or beheadment.

The most obvious hook is adding an S to the end of an existing singular noun (or plural verb). Here are some more examples:

   V        V               ATTIC
   I        I       H        H
   N   ->   N       O   ->   O
   Y        Y       S        S
          CELLAR    E        E

Transforms from crane to robot and back!

CONSTRUCTICON: HOOK

FUNCTION: SURGICAL ENGINEER
"Strive for perfection even if others must suffer."

With the precision of a fine jeweler, performs his job with skill unequalled among The Transformers, whether reconnecting a damaged microchip or setting a two ton girder into place. Snobbish, supercilious, unpopular perfectionist. Lifts 20 tons. As shoulders and head module, combines with fellow Constructicons to form "Devastator".

  • Strength: 8
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Speed: 3
  • Endurance: 6
  • Rank: 4
  • Courage: 6
  • Firepower: 5
  • Skill: 10
Transformers Tech Specs


If Scrapper wasn't the leader of the Constructicons, then that job must fall to Hook, who formed the head of Devastator. He had almost as many speaking parts in the show, or so it seemed after the movie. If only he wasn't so ugly: he looked like a real construction crane in vehicle mode, but in robot mode resembled a box with separations where his legs needed to be.

In the J programming language, a hook is the special name given to a composite verb made by concatenating two verbs. The general format for a monadic hook follows (h is monadic, while g is dyadic, and v is some noun):

(g h) v is identical to v g (h v)

For example:

  • (+ 0.1&*) v is equivalent to v + ((0.1&*)v) (which is the same as v + 0.1*v due to the use of the bond conjunction). One interpretation of this result is the total amount paid for v if there is a 10% tax.
  • (= {:) v is equivalent to v = ({: v), which compares each element of v with its head, leaving a boolean vector.

There are also dyadic hooks, in which another noun is present:

u (g h) v is identical to u g (h y)

Again, an example:

  • u (; %:) v is equivalent to u ; (%: v), which is the join of u to the square root of v.

A hook is a special case of a fork, which is the more general building block of trains in J. More information on extended chaining of J verbs can be found at train.

honey pot = H = hop

hook n.

A software or hardware feature included in order to simplify later additions or changes by a user. For example, a simple program that prints numbers might always print them in base 10, but a more flexible version would let a variable determine what base to use; setting the variable to 5 would make the program print numbers in base 5. The variable is a simple hook. An even more flexible program might examine the variable and treat a value of 16 or less as the base to use, but treat any other number as the address of a user-supplied routine for printing a number. This is a hairy but powerful hook; one can then write a routine to print numbers as Roman numerals, say, or as Hebrew characters, and plug it into the program through the hook. Often the difference between a good program and a superb one is that the latter has useful hooks in judiciously chosen places. Both may do the original job about equally well, but the one with the hooks is much more flexible for future expansion of capabilities (EMACS, for example, is all hooks). The term `user exit' is synonymous but much more formal and less hackish.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Blues Traveler - Four - Hook

It's definitely worth noting that the "hook" in this song, aside from the throwaway Peter Pan reference, is the chord progression, which is ripped directly off of Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D. That piece the bane of any classical musician's existance, but dammit, it's catchy.

I think John Popper & Co. chose this progression specifically to illustrate how vacuous yet successful pop songs can be so long as they have a catchy hook.

The next time you go to a wedding and this piece is played (and if the wedding is like most weddings, Canon in D will be played) trying singing the words to "Hook" (above) along with the poor sods stuck playing that progression ad nauseam. It works!

This type of punch is best for close quarters encounters, wherein circumstances force combatants close enough that they might trip over each other's feet. If the fighter is close enough to land a fully extended punch, she is too far away for a hook. A fighter properly executes a hook when her forearm is bent perpindicular (or perhaps a little more) to her upper arm. Different schools of thought will teach different methods of fist-positioning, whether knuckles should be facing away the fighter, towards the fighter, or straight up. Regardless of the individual technique, the hook is no haymaker -- it is marked by quick, powerful strokes meant to discourage the balance and stamina of the opponent.

The concept of a hook does not apply only to pop songs. In fact, it was invented to describe a crucial element of journalism, and extended from there to become an important concept in all branches of the publishing world. The hook is the special angle that makes a story catch the reader, the element that makes that story different from all others or so resonant that it simply must be read. The most common sort of hook is the human element that forces the reader to identify with the protagonist through manipulation of known emotional stimuli.

Take for example the comic book "Birds of Prey", a DC comic set in Gotham City and starring Oracle, Black Canary and various female guests. There are dozens of other monthly comics with female stars, many of them more powerful and dressed in sexier outfits than the Birds of Prey. What makes BOP unique is that one of the heroines, Oracle, is a hacker who has no superpowers whatsoever. In fact, she's physically handicapped, stuck in a wheelchair for life thanks to the Joker, and the only thing she has going for her is her highly developed intelligence.* That's the hook, the unique factor that is supposed to catch the reader's attention and make him (or hopefully her, as BOP is a comic carefully planned to appeal to both sexes equally) say "Wow, I never saw a superhero like that before".


* - I know, someone is bound to mention that Professor Charles Xavier is also crippled, but Professor X has amazing powers of telepathy and a super-powered wheelchair manufactured by aliens. It isn't the same thing at all.

The hook in hip-hop song writing

When hip-hop began, many critics thought that it was not music at all. After that phase had passed, critical scorn of hip-hop focused on groups that used explicit lyrics. Now, for better or for worse, hip-hop and rap music have become a part of the mainstream of American music and culture; something that is not widely welcome in the underground of hip-hop. However, from the earliest days of simplistic party raps, to the gangsta error, and throughout both the mainstream and underground world of hip-hop, there is one way that hip-hop has never gone against the grain of pop music: songwriting structure. While the lyrical content of rap songs can be quite different, the songs themselves are structured in a familiar way, usually verse chorus verse.

However, hip-hop being what it is, the chorus is almost always referred to as the hook. Parts of the song that are not actually in the structural place of the hook can sometimes be referred to as "the hook", for example, on the crossover hit "Hey Ya", the long outro is the actual "hook". But in most circumstances, "the hook" is merely a hip-hop term for the chorus. One of the reasons that it is not referred to as the chorus could be that a hook is not always sung, (or even spoken) but can be anything, including a scratch, a sample, or a different beat.

The importance of the hook in hip-hop music comes from several causes, some intrinsic to the music itself, some having to do with hip-hop's acceptance into more pop oriented radio formats.

One of the main reasons that hip-hop songs generally need a hook is the nature of an MC, especially a lyrical MC. Despite all the hype, flash, and excitement that rappers create around their personality, a lyrical solo from a rapper is not always in itself exciting. It is exciting in its own way, but no more so than, for example, a saxophone solo. Some of the best MCs, for example Nas and The GZA, have rather understated delivery, and a song with nothing but uninterruped rapping would lose its energy at a certain point. A chorus, with exciting lyrics that are easy to understand, and catch the listener's attention, is needed to carry the song. Related to this is the fact that, despite some revisionists attempt to paint hip-hop from the beginning as a deliberate, intellectual activity, the idea of MCs rhyming in cyphers for the purposes of pure lyricism is not the basis of hip-hop. The basis of hip-hop is parties and club shows, which involve crowd interaction and call and response chants. Hip-hop is meant to be participatory, and the simplest way to be participatory is to have some simple, repeated lyrics for crowds to sing along with.

Another reason that hip-hop songs need hooks is that as much impact as hip-hop has had on popular music, popular music has had a large impact on it. R&B music, meaning a more smooth, melodic style of black music, with usually less confrontational lyrics, was one of the most popular music formats when hip-hop was first developing, and in order for hip-hop songs to get radio play, they needed to include a more melodic hook. Also, besides for seeking commercial appeal, soft melodic hooks are a natural counterpart for the rhythmic sounds of hip-hop. The Wu-Tang Clan, a band who is undebatably hardcore, has used soft hooks to great artistic effect on songs like Can it be that it was all so simple? and All That I Got is You.

Some types of hip-hop songs don't use hooks: many times a story telling song will not, or a posse cut, which is just uninterruped rhyming by a group of rappers. However, for most rap songs, for reasons both artistic and commercial, a hook is neccesary.

Hook (?), n. [OE. hok, AS. hOc; cf. D. haak, G. hake, haken, OHG. hAko, hAgo, hAggo, Icel. haki, Sw. hake, Dan. hage. Cf. Arquebuse, Hagbut, Hake, Hatch a half door, Heckle.]

1.

A piece of metal, or other hard material, formed or bent into a curve or at an angle, for catching, holding, or sustaining anything; as, a hook for catching fish; a hook for fastening a gate; a boat hook, etc.

2.

That part of a hinge which is fixed to a post, and on which a door or gate hangs and turns.

3.

An implement for cutting grass or grain; a sickle; an instrument for cutting or lopping; a billhook.

Like slashing Bentley with his desperate hook.
Pope.

4. (Steam Engin.)

See Eccentric, and V-hook.

5.

A snare; a trap. [R.] Shak.

6.

A field sown two years in succession. [Prov. Eng.]

7. pl.

The projecting points of the thigh bones of cattle; -- called also hook bones.

By hook or by crook, one way or other; by any means, direct or indirect. Milton. "In hope her to attain by hook or crook." Spenser. --
Off the hooks, unhinged; disturbed; disordered. [Colloq.] "In the evening, by water, to the Duke of Albemarle, whom I found mightly off the hooks that the ships are not gone out of the river." Pepys. --
On one's own hook, on one's own account or responsibility; by one's self. [Colloq. U.S.] Bartlett. --
To go off the hooks, to die. [Colloq.] Thackeray. --
Bid hook, a small boat hook. --
Chain hook. See under Chain. --
Deck hook, a horizontal knee or frame, in the bow of a ship, on which the forward part of the deck rests. --
Hook and eye, one of the small wire hooks and loops for fastening together the opposite edges of a garment, etc. --
Hook bill (Zoöl.), the strongly curved beak of a bird. --
Hook ladder, a ladder with hooks at the end by which it can be suspended, as from the top of a wall. --
Hook motion (Steam Engin.), a valve gear which is reversed by V hooks. --
Hook squid, any squid which has the arms furnished with hooks, instead of suckers, as in the genera Enoploteuthis and Onychteuthis. --
Hook wrench, a wrench or spanner, having a hook at the end, instead of a jaw, for turning a bolthead, nut, or coupling.

 

© Webster 1913


Hook, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Hooked (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Hooking.]

1.

To catch or fasten with a hook or hooks; to seize, capture, or hold, as with a hook, esp. with a disguised or baited hook; hence, to secure by allurement or artifice; to entrap; to catch; as, to hook a dress; to hook a trout.

Hook him, my poor dear, . . . at any sacrifice.
W. Collins.

2.

To seize or pierce with the points of the horns, as cattle in attacking enemies; to gore.

3.

To steal. [Colloq. Eng. & U.S.]

To hook on, to fasten or attach by, or as by, hook.

 

© Webster 1913


Hook (?), v. i.

To bend; to curve as a hook.

 

© Webster 1913


Hook, n. (Geog.)

A spit or narrow cape of sand or gravel turned landward at the outer end; as, Sandy Hook.

 

© Webster 1913


Hook, v. i.

To move or go with a sudden turn; hence [Slang or Prov. Eng.],

to make off; to clear out; -- often with it. "Duncan was wounded, and the escort hooked it." Kipling.

 

© Webster 1913

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