from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A shelf or projection at the back or side of a fireplace, used for keeping food or utensils warm.
  • noun A tool used for cutting the teeth of machine parts, as of a gearwheel.
  • noun Chiefly British A hobgoblin, sprite, or elf.
  • noun Mischievous behavior.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A countryman; a rustic; an awkward, clownish fellow.
  • noun A sprite; an elf; a hobgoblin.
  • noun A milling-machine cutter used in forming the teeth of worm-gears.
  • noun A master die; a steel punch cut to a certain design, used for making coining-dies.
  • noun A round stick, stake, or pin used as a mark to throw at in certain games, as in quoits or the game called hob.
  • noun A boys' game in which halfpence are set on the end of a round stick (the hob), at which something (as a stone) is pitched.
  • noun A hardened threaded steel mandrel for cutting a comb or chasing-tool.
  • noun The nave of a wheel: same as hub, 7.
  • noun A structure inserted in a fireplace to diminish its width, originally introduced when broad open fireplaces were first fitted with grates for the burning of coal; also, the level top of such a structure, forming a space upon which any thing can be set which it is desired to keep hot.
  • noun The shoe of a sledge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A fairy; a sprite; an elf.
  • noun obsolete A countryman; a rustic; a clown.
  • noun The hub of a wheel. See Hub.
  • noun The flat projection or iron shelf at the side of a fire grate, where things are put to be kept warm.
  • noun (Mech.) A threaded and fluted hardened steel cutter, resembling a tap, used in a lathe for forming the teeth of screw chasers, worm wheels, etc.
  • noun A peg, pin, or mark used as a target in some games, as an iron pin in quoits; also, a game in which such a target is used.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The male ferret.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A kind of cutting tool, used to cut the teeth of a gear.
  • noun obsolete The flat projection or iron shelf at the side of a fire grate, where things are put to be kept warm.
  • noun UK The top cooking surface on a cooker. It typically comprises several cooking elements (often four), also known as 'rings'.
  • noun A rounded peg used as a target in several games, especially in quoits
  • noun A male ferret.
  • verb transitive To create (a gear) by cutting with a hob.
  • verb intransitive To engage in the process of cutting gears with a hob.
  • noun obsolete A fairy; a sprite; an elf.
  • noun obsolete A countryman; a rustic or yokel.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (folklore) fairies that are somewhat mischievous
  • noun a hard steel edge tool used to cut gears
  • noun a shelf beside an open fire where something can be kept warm
  • verb cut with a hob
  • noun (folklore) a small grotesque supernatural creature that makes trouble for human beings


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Origin unknown.
From Middle English Hob, a nickname for Robert, a nickname for Robert.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally an abbreviation of Robin or Robert (see Hob); Robin Goodfellow was a celebrated fairy or domestic spirit. Compare hobgoblin and see robin.



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  • After another much-needed cup of tea, I decided to make an attempt at dinner. incredibly Happy was equipped with a diesel hob, expensive things, but much safer than gas. Leaking gas tends to drop into the bilges and then explode at the lease provocation, or so we had been told. . . .

    To install just the hob alone would have cost over £500, hob and cooker together came to a massive £1200. So with budget restrictions in mind, we had decided that, for now, we would make do with just the already installed hob and the microwave, and the diesel oven could wait for our overdue lottery win.
    Marie Browne, Narrow Margins (Mid-Glamorgan: Accent Press Ltd., 2009)

    November 3, 2015

  • You know... I could listen to only less than a minute of that. People talking like that just makes my blood pressure skyrocket. God.

    (Thanks for posting though. Another reason to pray daily nightly that that man doesn't win anything of more consequence than a ping-pong tournament.)

    December 1, 2007

  • Steer, gelding, barrow, wether...

    December 1, 2007

  • Thanks u, enjoyed that!

    December 1, 2007

  • December 1, 2007

  • No no no. You don't get to mention Giuliani and ferrets without having to explain to us colonials what's going on.

    December 1, 2007

  • Haha! And that Rudy ferret radio interview was great! I seriously, seriously hope that man doesn't get anywhere. Incidentally, I have a new Election 2008 list...

    December 1, 2007

  • Uselessness - given that there are specific words for male deer in each year of their lifetime (hint: count the antlers, and yes - I will get to this list eventually), it's a safe bet that the answer to your question is "yes". If it was ever important to make this distinction, in any culture, at any point in history, then you can be sure that English, inclusive to the point of promiscuity, will have borrowed all the relevant vocabulary needed to preserve the distinction.

    December 1, 2007

  • If Rudy Giulani ever becomes president, expect unneutered male ferrets to become an endangered species, as the former cross-dressing mayor's intemperate views on ferrets and ferret-owners are well-documented.

    December 1, 2007

  • Talk about a specific word. Is this like chained_bear's list, where there are a bunch of different words referring to the neutered varieties of different animals?

    December 1, 2007

  • Glad my name's not Harold O'Brien then.

    December 1, 2007

  • also the name for an unneutered male ferret

    December 1, 2007

  • ... lifted the kettle off the hob and set it sideways on the fire.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 4

    December 31, 2006