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hobgoblin

[hob-gob-lin] /ˈhɒbˌgɒb lɪn/
noun
1.
something causing superstitious fear; a bogy.
2.
a mischievous goblin.
3.
(initial capital letter) Puck (def 1).
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; hob2 + goblin
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hobgoblin
  • Don't ever tell a copy editor that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
  • hobgoblin checks file system consistency against a description.
  • Therefore, it's quite advantageous to cling to the notion that consistency is a hobgoblin.
British Dictionary definitions for hobgoblin

hobgoblin

/ˌhɒbˈɡɒblɪn/
noun
1.
an evil or mischievous goblin
2.
a bogey; bugbear
Word Origin
C16: from hob² + goblin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hobgoblin
n.

1520s, from hob "elf," from Hobbe, a variant of Rob (cf. Hick for Richard, Hodge for Rodger, etc.), short for Robin Goodfellow, elf character in German folklore, + goblin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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