In the old days, the telephone mouthpiece rested on hook-shaped cradle when it was not in use. To use the phone, you lifted the mouthpiece off-hook which gave you a dial tone. To stop using the phone, you placed it back on-hook . We still use these terms for the electrical modem equivalents.
A hook is also a place in standard computer code where you can insert a piece of custom code. In Java, this is usually implemented with a delegate object.
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