hobson's-choice

Hobson's choice

[hob-suhnz]
noun
the choice of taking either that which is offered or nothing; the absence of a real alternative.

Origin:
1640–50; after Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), of Cambridge, England, who rented horses and gave his customer only one choice, that of the horse nearest the stable door

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To hobson's-choice
Collins
World English Dictionary
Hobson's choice (ˈhɒbsənz)
 
n
the choice of taking what is offered or nothing at all
 
[C16: named after Thomas Hobson (1544--1631), English liveryman who gave his customers no choice but had them take the nearest horse]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Hobson's choice
Eng. university slang, supposedly from Thomas Hobson (c.1544-1631), Cambridge stable manager who let horses and gave customers a choice of the horse next in line or none at all. Phrase popularized by Milton, c.1660.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature