from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A bent or hooked piece of iron for hanging a pot or kettle over a fire.
  • n. A curved iron rod with a hooked end used for lifting hot pots, irons, or stove lids.
  • n. A curved, S-shaped mark made in writing.
  • n. Illegible handwriting or aimless scribbling. Often used in the plural.
  • n. Informal Stenographic writing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An S-shaped iron hook used to suspend a cooking pot over a fire
  • n. A crooked stroke in writing; a scrawl

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An S-shaped hook on which pots and kettles are hung over an open fire.
  • n. A written character curved like a pothook; (pl.) a scrawled writing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A hook, secured in a chimney in any manner (as upon a crane), for supporting a pot over a fire.
  • n. A short bar or rod of iron, usually curved, and with a hook at the end, used to lift hot pots, irons, or stove-lids from a stove.
  • n. A letter, character, or curve shaped like a pothook (def. 1); an elementary character consisting of a stroke terminating in a curve, practised upon by children in learning to write; hence, any irregular, straggling written character. Also pot-hanger.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an S-shaped hook to suspend a pot over a fire


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It was registered as the "pothook" brand, but it was known far and side as the "straddle bug."

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIII No 3

  • The undue compression of type laterally, the exaggeration of thick and thin, the feeble pothook terminations in modern type are due to one form of degeneration being added upon another for some centuries, a tracing of a tracing.

    Sage Advice for the Fine Book Printer

  • Spiller looked in the pot suspended from a pothook over the fire.


  • He chose the door on the left which opened into a spacious kitchen where, quivering with fright, a man and a woman crouched beside the hearth in which, suspended from a pothook, a seething cauldron stank of lye.

    Sharpe's Rifles

  • The most notable feature was the pothook, or cremaillière, a substantial wrought-iron support, usually adjustable, from which cooking pots could be hung above the fire.

    Savoring The Past

  • The pothook, with its big cooking pot, appeared, with variations in size and adjustability, in kitchens through the eighteenth century and, in rural areas, even later.59 Andirons, holding the burning logs, stood below the pot; the prudent cook kept a good supply of glowing coals to arrange as needed.

    Savoring The Past

  • There was a pothook brand on the left thigh, just as Will had claimed.

    The Chisholms

  • Homestead; she got the children beyond the hanger and pothook stage of writing and filled their minds, hitherto worried by family cares, with legend and fairy-tale.


  • The trenches ran along in a pothook shape from Rhododendron Spur down to the Cheshire Ridge, on the north side.

    The 28th: A Record of War Service in the Australian Imperial Force, 1915-19, Vol. I Egypt, Gallipoli, Lemnos Island, Sinai Peninsula

  • His writing was small, compressed, irregular and often far from easy to read; when he suppressed a passage, he used a form of pothook erasure which rendered the condemned phrase absolutely illegible.

    Honore de Balzac


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.