Hobson's choice

Idioms & Phrases

Hobson's choice

An apparently free choice that actually offers no alternative. For example, My dad said if I wanted the car I could have it tonight or not at allthat's Hobson's choice. This expression alludes to Thomas Hobson of Cambridge, England, who rented horses and allowed each customer to take only the horse nearest the stable door. [Mid-1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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