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Hobson’s Choice

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This or none. Tobiʹas Hobson was a carrier and inn-keeper at Cambridge, who erected the handsome conduit there, and settled “seven lays” of pasture ground towards its maintenance. “He kept a stable of forty good cattle, always ready and fit for travelling; but when a man came for a horse he was led into the stable, where there was great choice, but was obliged to take the horse which stood nearest to the stable-door; so that every customer was alike well served, according to his chance, and every horse ridden with the same justice.” (Spectator, No. 509.)

Milton wrote two quibbling epitaphs upon this eccentric character.

“Why is the greatest of free communities reduced to Hobson’s choice?”—The Times.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Hobbler
Hobby
Hobby-horse
Hobedy-hoig
Hobgoblin
Hobinol
Hoblers or Hovellers
Hobnail
Hob Nob
Hob’s Pound
Hobson’s Choice
Hock
Hock Cart
Hock-day or Hock Tuesday
Hockey
Hocking
Hockley-i-the-Hole
Hocus Pocus
Hocussed
Hodeken
Hodge