- or HOOKEY WALKER! an ejaculation of incredulity, used when a person is telling a story which you know to be all gammon, or worse. One explanation of the phrase is this:—“Years ago there was a person named Walker, an aquiline-nosed Jew, who exhibited an orrery, which he called by the erudite name of ‘Eidouranion.’ He was also a popular lecturer on astronomy, and often, telescope in hand, invited his pupils to ‘take a sight’ at the moon and stars. The lecturer’s phrase struck his schoolboy auditory, who frequently ‘took a sight’ with that gesture of outstretched arm and adjustment to nose and eye which was the first garnish of the popular saying. The next step was to assume phrase and gesture as the outward and visible mode of knowingness in general.” This has been denied, however, and a statement made that HOOKEY WALKER was a magistrate of dreaded acuteness and incredulity, whose hooked nose gave the title of “beak” to all his successors; it is also said, moreover, that the gesture of applying the thumb to the nose and agitating the little finger, as an expression of “Don’t you wish you may get it?” is considerably older than the first story would seem to indicate. There are many and various explanations of the term, given according to the development of fancy.—_Notes and Queries_, iv. 425.
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