One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[WITH OBJECT]NZ, Australian
1dob onInform against someone.‘Helen dobbed me in to Mum’
denounce, give away, betray, incriminate, inculpate, report, tell the authorities about, tell the police aboutView synonyms
- ‘It works as a great deterrent for graffiti artists - they just never know who could dob them in, so they tend to stop.’
- ‘He says no one will tell him exactly how he got caught, but someone must have dobbed him in.’
- ‘Trust me, when these restrictions get tightened tomorrow, there will be no shortage of people queuing up to dob her in.’
- ‘At least I wont have to worry about Phil dobbing me in anymore.’
- ‘He says there are too many spies about and too many people who will dob you in for money.’
- 1.1dob onno object Inform on; betray.
break one's promise to, be disloyal to, be unfaithful to, break faith with, play someone false, fail, let downView synonyms
- ‘Water wasted by householders is but a gnat's whatsit compared to the huge volumes that are wasted by the water companies - dobbing on your neighbour isn't going to solve anything’
- ‘They must think my brother is pretty cool for not dobbing on me.’
- ‘How are we going to work together as a community rather than dobbing on each other and isolating each other.’
- ‘He's in the prison, he's dobbing on his prison mates, on other inmates, and he's very scared for his life.’
- ‘He was summoned before the committee and fined for dobbing on a workmate but refused to pay.’
2dob something inContribute money to a common cause.‘everyone dobbed in a few dollars’
3dob someone inImpose on someone to do something.‘I dobbed him in to do the cleaning’
1950s: figurative use of dialect dob ‘put down abruptly’, later ‘throw something at a target’.
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