hob-son jobson's

Hobson-Jobson

[hob-suhn-job-suhn]
noun
the alteration of a word or phrase borrowed from a foreign language to accord more closely with the phonological and lexical patterns of the borrowing language, as in English hoosegow from Spanish juzgado.

Origin:
1625–35; Indian English rendering of Arabic yā Ḥasan, yā Husayn lament uttered during taʿziyah; an example of such an alteration

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hobson-jobson (ˌhɒbsənˈdʒɒbsən)
 
n
another word for folk etymology
 
[C19: Anglo-Indian folk-etymological variant of Arabic yā Hasan! yā Husayn! O Hasan! O Husain! (ritual lament for the grandsons of Mohammed); influenced by the surnames Hobson and Jobson]

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Word Origin & History

Hobson-Jobson
1634, British soldiers' mangled Anglicization of the Ar. cry they heard at Muharram processions in India, Ya Hasan! Ya Husayn! ("O Hassan! O Husain!"), mourning two grandsons of the Prophet who died fighting for the faith. This led to the linguists' law of Hobson-Jobson, describing the effort to bring
a new and strange word into harmony with the language.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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