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

  • n. A child's riding toy that consists of a long stick with an imitation horse's head on one end.
  • n. See rocking horse.
  • n. A figure of a horse worn attached to the waist of a mummer, as in a morris dance.
  • n. A person wearing such a figure.
  • n. A favorite hobby.
  • n. A topic that one frequently brings up or dwells on; a fixation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of hobby horse.

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

  • n. a topic to which one constantly reverts
  • n. a child's plaything consisting of an imitation horse mounted on rockers; the child straddles it and pretends to ride


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Something else stirred in his memory, the name by which Malcolm had used to call his hobbyhorse, some ringing name ... but he had forgotten.

    Christmas A Story

  • I might well complain about a "hobbyhorse" sermon, also-- especially if it was made possible by using only the OT/Hebrew Scriptures reading and not also at least the Gospel if not the Epistle.

    The pacifist sermon.

  • Oil becomes too expensive to extract, and alternative energies can't maintain our fossil-fuel-dependent lifestyle — is the hobbyhorse of widely read collapsists James Howard Kunstler and Dmitry Orlov.

    Boing Boing

  • And it appears to be precisely why Mr. Yosano was picked for a cabinet post; the consumption tax is Mr. Kan's hobbyhorse too.

    Japanese for 'Plus

  • As with price reform, privatization was not an ideological hobbyhorse of the reformers—it was something that was happening already, in the most destructive way.

    The Return

  • Last month, speaking at the 15th World Congress of Food Science and Technology in Cape Town, Sir David King, formerly Tony Blair's science adviser, could be found on his favourite hobbyhorse: Food insecurity in developing regions such as Africa is partially a result of the anti-GM campaign.

    Just because GM is gaining popularity doesn't make it right

  • Fourth, this is Marta Guembe (and other anonymous members of her committee) 's private hobbyhorse and her inflexibility regarding a refusal to consider anything other than a street renaming gave the Hispanic community a dose of bad publicity in the eyes of the larger citizenship of Portland.

    César, César, bo-Bésar, banana bana fo-Fésar (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • I find it tiresome that rights tied to guns are now seen as a right-wing hobbyhorse.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » NRA Convention report

  • She starts with the mechanics, briskly moving from 1817's laufmaschine running machine to the hobbyhorse, boneshaker and high wheeler.

    "Wheels of Change," a kids' history of women and bicycles

  • I seem to recall from my youth that discarding “whole language” in favor of “phonics” was a big hobbyhorse of some right-wing organizations … I got junk mail about it from the Eagle Forum, I think …

    Matthew Yglesias » Teaching Reading Right


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