1 [fob]
a small pocket just below the waistline in trousers for a watch, keys, change, etc. Compare watch pocket.
a short chain or ribbon, usually with a medallion or similar ornament, attached to a watch and worn hanging from a pocket.
the medallion or ornament itself.

1645–55; origin uncertain; compare German dialect Fuppe pocket Unabridged


2 [fob]
verb (used with object), fobbed, fobbing.
Archaic. to cheat; deceive.
Verb phrases
fob off,
to cheat someone by substituting something spurious or inferior; palm off (often followed by on ): He tried to fob off an inferior brand on us.
to put (someone) off by deception or trickery: She fobbed us off with false promises.

1350–1400; Middle English fobben; cognate with German foppen to delude; cf. fob1


free on board: without charge to the buyer for goods placed on board a carrier at the point of shipment: automobiles shipped f.o.b. Detroit.
Also, F.O.B. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fob1 (fɒb)
1.  a chain or ribbon by which a pocket watch is attached to a waistcoat
2.  any ornament hung on such a chain
3.  a small pocket in a man's waistcoat, for holding a watch
4.  a metal or plastic tab on a key ring
[C17: probably of Germanic origin; compare German dialect Fuppe pocket]

fob2 (fɒb)
vb , fobs, fobbing, fobbed
an archaic word for cheat
[C15: probably from German foppen to trick]

fob3 (fɒb)
slang (NZ) a Pacific Islander who has newly arrived in New Zealand
[C20: from f(resh) o(ff) (the) b(oat)]

f.o.b. or commerce FOB
abbreviation for
free on board
FOB or commerce FOB
abbreviation for

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1653, "small pocket for valuables," probably related to Low Ger. fobke "pocket," High Ger. fuppe "pocket." Meaning "chain attached to a watch carried in the fob" is from 1885.

"to cheat," 1583, from obsolete noun fobbe "cheat, trickster" (1393), perhaps from O.Fr. forbe "cheat." Alternative etymology holds that the word is perhaps related to Ger. foppen "to jeer at, make a fool of" (see fop); or from Ger. fuppen, einfuppen "to pocket stealthily,"
which would connect it to fob (n.). To fob (someone) off is first recorded 1597.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. father of the bride

  2. foreign body

free on board
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
It then tried to fob off survivors with quiet payments through a private
Internal zipped pocket and a key fob in a pocket round out this great jacket.
All you have done to support your claim is to fob off a bunch of links.
The car would lock and unlock automatically if you had the fob in your pocket.
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