By hook or by crook
"By hook or by crook" is an English phrase meaning "by any means necessary", suggesting that one need not be concerned with morality or other considerations when accomplishing some goal. The phrase is very old, first recorded in the Middle English text Controversial Tracts by John Wyclif in 1380.
The origin of the phrase is obscure, with multiple different explanations and no evidence to support any particular one over the others. For example, a commonly repeated suggestion is that it comes from Hook Head in Wexford, Ireland and the nearby village of Crook, in Waterford, Ireland. Another is that it comes from the customs regulating which firewood local people could take from common land; they were allowed to take any branches that they could reach with a billhook or a shepherd's crook. More likely it simply means, "by any means necessary" or "using whatever means are available". The word crook has a connotation of crookedness, perversity and wickedness, while hook might suggest subtlety, deceit, cunning or trickery.