"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.