hob vs hobgoblin what difference

what is difference between hob and hobgoblin



  • (General American) enPR: hŏb, IPA(key): /hɑb/
  • (Received Pronunciation) enPR: hŏb, IPA(key): /hɒb/
  • Rhymes: -ɒb

Etymology 1

Related to hub, but the ultimate origin of both words is obscure.


hob (plural hobs)

  1. A kind of cutting tool, used to cut the teeth of a gear.
  2. (historical) The flat projection or iron shelf at the side of a fire grate, where things are put to be kept warm.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Smart to this entry?)
    • 1898, Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, Book the Second, Chapter V (The Jackal):
      They went into a dingy room lined with books and littered with papers, where there was a blazing fire. A kettle steamed upon the hob, and in the midst of the wreck of papers a table shone, with plenty of wine upon it, and brandy, and rum, and sugar, and lemons.
  3. (Britain, Australia, New Zealand) The top cooking surface on a cooker; a cooktop. It typically comprises several cooking elements (often four), also known as ‘rings’.
    • 1913, Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 2
      And the first sound in the house was the bang, bang of the poker against the raker, as Morel smashed the remainder of the coal to make the kettle, which was filled and left on the hob, finally boil.
  4. A rounded peg used as a target in several games, especially in quoits.
  5. A male ferret.
  6. The hub of a wheel.
    • August 31 1776, George Washington, letter to the President of Congress
      the wheels of the carriages sinking up to the hobs rendered it impossible for our whole force to drag them.
  • (cooking surface): cooktop, stovetop


hob (third-person singular simple present hobs, present participle hobbing, simple past and past participle hobbed)

  1. (transitive) To create (a gear) by cutting with a hob.
  2. (intransitive) To engage in the process of cutting gears with a hob.

Etymology 2

From Middle English Hob (a diminutive of Robin, an Old French [Term?] diminutive of Robert), through its connection with Robin Goodfellow and (later) the devil. Compare hobgoblin; see robin.


hob (plural hobs)

  1. (obsolete) A fairy; a sprite; an elf; a bogey.
    • From elves, hobs, and fairies, [] Defend us, good Heaven!
  2. (obsolete) A countryman; a rustic or yokel.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Nares to this entry?)
  • (supernatural creature): See goblin (hostile)
Derived terms
  • play hob with, raise hob


  • hob in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.


  • BHO, BOH, HBO, boh



From Old Danish hob, from Middle Low German hōp, from Old Saxon hōp, from Proto-West Germanic *haup (heap), cognate with English heap. Late Old Norse hópr and Swedish hop are also borrowed from Low German.


  • IPA(key): /hoːˀb/, [ˈhoˀb̥]


hob c (singular definite hoben, plural indefinite hobe)

  1. crowd, multitude (a large amount of people or animals)
  2. (derogatory) common people
  3. heap
  4. (computer science) heap


Derived terms

  • galaksehob
  • hoben (crowd, heap, noun)
  • hobe (to heap, verb)
  • til hobe (together, adverb)





  1. first/third-person singular preterite of heben

Lower Sorbian


hob (with accusative)

  1. Obsolete spelling of wob



From hob (elf) (from Hob, a variant of Rob, short for Robin Goodfellow, an elf in German folklore) + goblin.


hobgoblin (plural hobgoblins)

  1. A small, ugly goblin that makes trouble for humans. [from 1520s]
    • 1837, Albany Fonblanque, England Under Seven Administrations, Volume 1, page 98,
      A M. Berbiguier lately published an elaborate work, in three huge volumes, in which he demonstrated the existence of hobgoblins, described the proper manner of capturing and securing them, and took credit to himself for his zeal for the benefit of mankind, in allowing no day to pass without imprisoning, with his own hands, at least thirty hobgoblins. A writer of biographical notices of contemporary authors, who believed neither in M. Berbiguier’s manner of catching hobgoblins nor in the existence of hobgoblins did not scruple to say that M. Berbiguier was mad, and upon this M. Berbiguier brought his action for libel; but unluckily, together with his action, he brought himself into Court, and established in a very few words the truth of the libel.
    • 2005, Scott Harper, Winter’s Rite, page 142,
      The eyes blinked out and he heard a faint grunt, followed by the sounds of the Hobgoblin scrambling further back into the tunnel, away from the faint sunlight and the Ur’hunglav’s domain.
    • 2007, Introduction: Phonoplay: Recasting Film Music, Daniel Goldmark, Lawrence Kramer, Richard D. Leppert (editors), Beyond the Soundtrack: Representing Music in Cinema, page 1,
      The monster goes unrecognized because he looks like a harmless, pudgy nobody rather than like a hobgoblin. But he reveals his hobgoblin nature through music.
  2. (by extension) A source of dread, fear or apprehension; a bugbear.
    • 2004, James Mulvihill, Upstart Talents: Rhetoric and the Career of Reason in English Romantic Disccourse 1790-1820, page 55,
      Under “Fallacies of Danger,” then, is listed the subhead of “The Hobgoblin Argument, or, No Innovation, in which the hobgoblin in question is anarchy; which tremendous spectre has for its forerunner the monster innovation.” A hot button like this would presumably elicit a visceral response even from Hamilton whose aversion to the hobgoblin of parliamentary reform was apparently his sole unreasoning reflex.
    • 2011, John Mueller, Mark G. Stewart, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security, page 190,
      However, the public seems to have been able to retain much of its sense of alarm about internal attacks even when the al-Qaeda hobgoblin doesn’t actually carry any out.
  • (hostile supernatural creature): See goblin




hobgoblin m (plural hobgoblins)

  1. hobgoblin (mischievous goblin)

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