follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

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

Puck

[puhk] /pʌk/
noun
1.
Also called Hobgoblin, Robin Goodfellow. a particularly mischievous sprite in English folklore who appears as a character in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
2.
(lowercase) a malicious or mischievous demon or spirit; a goblin.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English pouke, Old English pūca; cognate with Old Norse pūki a mischievous demon
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for hobgoblins

hobgoblin

/ˌhɒbˈɡɒblɪn/
noun
1.
an evil or mischievous goblin
2.
a bogey; bugbear
Word Origin
C16: from hob² + goblin

puck1

/pʌk/
noun
1.
a small disc of hard rubber used in ice hockey
2.
a stroke at the ball in hurling
3.
(Irish, slang) a sharp blow
verb (transitive)
4.
to strike (the ball) in hurling
5.
(Irish, slang) to strike hard; punch
Word Origin
C19: of unknown origin

puck2

/pʌk/
noun
1.
(often capital) a mischievous or evil spirit Also called Robin Goodfellow
Derived Forms
puckish, adjective
Word Origin
Old English pūca, of obscure origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for hobgoblins

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.

puck

n.

"ice hockey disk," 1891, possibly from puck (v.) "to hit, strike" (1861), which perhaps is related to poke (v.) via notion of "push." Another suggestion traces the noun to Irish poc "bag."

Puck

"mischievous fairy" (in "A Midsummer Night's Dream"), probably from pouke "devil, evil spirit" (c.1300), from Old English puca, pucel "goblin," cognate with Old Norse puki "devil, fiend," of unknown origin (cf. pug). Celtic origins also have been proposed. Capitalized since 16c. His disguised name was Robin Goodfellow.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for hobgoblins

puck

in medieval English folklore, a malicious fairy or demon. In Old and Middle English the word meant simply "demon." In Elizabethan lore he was a mischievous, brownielike fairy also called Robin Goodfellow, or Hobgoblin. As one of the leading characters in William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck boasts of his pranks of changing shapes, misleading travelers at night, spoiling milk, frightening young girls, and tripping venerable old dames. The Irish pooka, or puca, and the Welsh pwcca are similar household spirits

Learn more about puck with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for hobgoblin

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for hobgoblins

18
22
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with hobgoblins

Nearby words for hobgoblins