Word of the Day

Saturday, September 21, 2002


\HAHB-nahb\ , intransitive verb;
To associate familiarly.
Occasionally I heard him stop in the corridor outside my door to hobnob with someone of status.
-- Edith Anderson, Love in Exile: An American Writer's Memoir of Life in Divided Berlin
He negotiates with heads of state over athletic participation and regularly hobnobs with royalty and business barons.
-- Elizabeth Olson, "Olympic club starts some heavy lifting", The Christian Science Monitor, January 26, 1999
Charlie joined the elite Tanana Men's Club, and he hobnobbed with lawyers and bankers.
-- Lois W. Banner, Finding Fran: History and Memory in the Lives of Two Women
Mr. Pinsky recited poetry to kids, schmoozed with literati, hobnobbed with Washington pols and put his bully pulpit of poetry to work in the service of verse.
-- Donna De Marco, "Poet's work is never done; America's laureate e'er reads, writes", The Washington Times, April 9, 1999
Hobnob comes from an earlier phrase, to hob or nob, meaning "to drink together, taking turns toasting one another," probably from Middle English habbe "to have" and nabbe, a contraction of ne + habbe, "to have not," hence, "to have and have not, to give and take."
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