Etymology
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hob (n.)

"side of fireplace," 1670s, alteration of hubbe (1510s), of unknown origin, perhaps somehow related to the first element in hobnail.

hob (n.)

"clown, prankster," short for hobgoblin (q.v.). Hence, to play (the) hob "make mischief" (by 1834).

Hob

c. 1300, Hobbe, a variant of Rob, diminutive of Robert (compare Hick for Richard, Hodge for Rodger, etc.). Also a generic proper name for one of the common class.

updated on October 10, 2017

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Definitions of hob from WordNet
1
hob (n.)
(folklore) a small grotesque supernatural creature that makes trouble for human beings;
Synonyms: goblin / hobgoblin
hob (n.)
(folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievous;
Synonyms: elf / gremlin / pixie / pixy / brownie / imp
hob (n.)
a hard steel edge tool used to cut gears;
hob (n.)
a shelf beside an open fire where something can be kept warm;
2
hob (v.)
cut with a hob;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.