Saturday, June 02, 2012


I encountered the word, hob, today, as, played hob. It caught my attention.

Here’s Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged’s Main Entry:


Pronunciation Guide, Pronunciation: clip_image002häb

Function: noun; Inflected Form(s): -s

Etymology: Middle English hob, hobbe, from Hobbe, nickname of Robert or Robin

1 now dialect England a : a clownish lout b : RUSTIC

2 now dialect England : HOBGOBLIN, ELF

3 : a male ferret

- play hob

1 : to cause mischief

: make trouble

: cause an upset

: cause confusion or disruption or havoc -- usually used with with <would disorganize his life and play hob with his standard of living -- John Lardner>

2 : to take liberties : make free -- usually used with with <a biased book that plays hob with historical fact>

- raise hob

1 : to play hob -- usually used with with <the war ... raised hob with international trade -- Harper's>

2 a : to show extreme irritation or wrath <his ... wife was getting on his nerves and he was raising unaccountable hob -- V.P.Hass> -- often used with with <raised hob with him for being late>

b : to be riotous (as with intoxication or glee) and cause a rumpus <going to go out tonight and raise hob>

"hob." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. ( 2 Jun. 2012).


I found ‘hob’, in Rick Atkinson’s The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944.

Here, the only two instances I found reading the ebook version, using Kindle For PC’s search-inside-book:

“Iron ore in the volcanic soil around Mount Etna played hob with metal detectors…”

“Confusion, error, fear—the usual frictions—played hob on the far side of the hill, and the crushing counterattack that might have crippled DIADEM never took shape.”

Atkinson, Rick (2010-04-01). The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (Liberation Trilogy) (Kindle Locations 10853-10855). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

You can view Google Book’s substantial extract at:


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