c.1300, hoblen "to rock back and forth, toss up and down," probably related to its Du. cognate hobbelen. Transitive sense of "tie the legs of an animal" first recorded 1831, probably an alteration of 16c. hopple, cognate with Flem. hoppelen "to rock, jump," related to Du. hobbelen. Sense of "hamper, hinder" is c.1870.