Word of the Day

Monday, January 31, 2000

Hobson's choice

\HOB-suhnz-CHOIS\ , noun;
1.
A choice without an alternative; the thing offered or nothing.
Quotes:
Fagan's defense revolves around his insistence that he faced a Hobson's choice and had to act.
-- Laura Parker, "Discovery of daughters never followed by reunion", USA Today, May 11, 1999
They're faced with a Hobson's choice: Make the plunge . . . or face a terrifying alternative -- gradual extinction.
-- Heather Green, "The Great Yuletide Shakeout", Business Week, November 1, 1999
Origin:
The origin of the term Hobson's choice is said to be in the name of one Thomas Hobson (ca. 1544-1631), at Cambridge, England, who kept a livery stable and required every customer to take either the horse nearest the stable door or none at all.
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