• WordNet 3.6
    • n pothook an S-shaped hook to suspend a pot over a fire
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Pothook A written character curved like a pothook; (pl.) a scrawled writing. "I long to be spelling her Arabic scrawls and pothooks ."
    • Pothook An S-shaped hook on which pots and kettles are hung over an open fire.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n pothook A hook, secured in a chimney in any manner (as upon a crane), for supporting a pot over a fire.
    • n pothook 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 pothook 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.
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In literature:

But they regarded these pothooks as a clumsy waste of time.
"The Story of Mankind" by Hendrik van Loon
He looks around and sees his little pothooks perpetrator.
"Sixes and Sevens" by O. Henry
They are the pothooks and hangers of surgery, and I have gone that far.
"Lord Kilgobbin" by Charles Lever
You have changed a number of spoken words into a number of pothooks and scrawls.
"Ancient Man" by Hendrik Willem van Loon
Myself, I never had no book larnin' to speak of; never got no further than pothooks an' hangers!
"In Clive's Command" by Herbert Strang
The dots and lines and pothooks clearly belong to a system of picture-writing.
"Anthropology" by Robert Marett
She had furthermore drilled him in making "pothooks and hangers," with which he covered his slate in neat rows, daily.
"The Dreamer" by Mary Newton Stanard
I made pothooks and translated them.
"I Married a Ranger" by Dama Margaret Smith
He makes his pothooks capitally.
"The Stranger" by August von Kotzebue
You are young to be so studious of pothooks and hangers.
"The God of Love" by Justin Huntly McCarthy
What blots, pothooks, and angles you and I make as we are trying to write on the top of the page of life.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
Pothooks are straight by comparison.
"The Merryweathers" by Laura E. Richards
He also practised "pothooks," and at the age of nineteen he was proud to be able to write his own name.
"Lives of the Engineers The Locomotive. George and Robert Stephenson" by Samuel Smiles
At the outset, his pothooks are very unlike the model set before him.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
There he learned to write pothooks and hangers and very soon to write proper letters.
"Sinister Street, vol. 1" by Compton Mackenzie
Besides, if that failed him, he had usually a pothook handy.
"The Sheriff of Badger" by George B. Pattullo
He covered his hand with a cloth, seized the pothook which hung from the entrance of the chimney, and moved it laboriously aside.
"The Pursuit" by Frank (Frank Mackenzie) Savile
I'm in the pothook stage still.
"The Man Without a Memory" by Arthur W. Marchmont
The hope and expectation carry them through the tedious work of the alphabet and pothooks.
"Household Education" by Harriet Martineau
Whose fault was it if time had been wasted over alphabets and pothooks?
"In the Permanent Way" by Flora Annie Steel