One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A chain attached to a watch for carrying in a waistcoat or waistband pocket.
- ‘Its fob chain, stretched across the workingman's waistcoat, became a new symbol of respectability.’
- ‘Furthermore, he said he never could wear a pocket watch and fob - fashionable at the time - because they got in the way of his arm.’
- ‘He pressed the crown of the handsome - and expensive - watch attached to the fob and squinted at the golden hands sweeping about its painted ivory face.’
- ‘It needed a lot of work on the mechanism (it'd stopped winding) and a new loop made for a fob chain.’
- ‘The trinkets were attached to the exposed end of the fob.’
- ‘He carried it now, attached to the fob of his watch.’
- ‘The jewelry included watch fobs, shirt studs, earrings, brooches, pins, bracelets, and crucifixes, carved with appropriate images of oak leaves and acorns.’
- ‘He always wore a dark blue pinstriped suit, waistcoat with a gold fob, a red carnation, a trilby, and an umbrella.’
- ‘It was a silver fob, about six inches long, with a key ring at one end.’
- ‘Courtwright's hammer snagged on Short's watch fob chain.’
- ‘In New York in 1890, the latest pocket watch and fob chain could carry seals the wearer could use to demonstrate their place in society.’
- ‘We bloggers are not sketching evil cackling capitalists with top hats and watch fobs.’
- ‘Instead, the investigator turned out to be a grave young man attired in a three-piece suit with Edwardian collar and gold watch fob.’
- ‘Women favored these watch chatelaines while men preferred fobs by which to pull the watch from the pocket.’
- ‘Then he fiddled with his watch fob, and without looking up said, ‘And our other matter was dealt with satisfactorily?’’
- ‘Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go press my wing-collar shirt and see if my new fob chain for my grandfather's watch fits my waistcoat.’
- ‘There, stepping from his car in the shadow of the castle, is Christopher Lee, still imperious at 82 with his gold fob and frock coat.’
- 1.1 A small ornament attached to a watch chain.
- ‘If she turns around, she'll see the silver fob and chain, marked by their daughter's teething.’
- ‘There is also a gold-plated brass chain, with a fob of a liberty head penny, with the date 1853 (the year of Hardin's birth).’
- ‘Until the advent of the wristwatch in the twentieth century, men's pocket watches were suspended from a chain with a watch fob at the other end.’
- 1.2 A small pocket for carrying a watch.
- ‘When worn by men, the watch was tucked into the fob pocket.’
- 1.3 A tab on a key ring.
- ‘On two occasions teething toddlers chewing on key fobs have swallowed the transponder needed to start the car.’
- ‘No, that's quite alright - don't you worry yourself about digging in your pocket to find your security fob.’
- ‘Priced at US $18, it looks like the key-ring fob that opens your car door and has an illuminated combination dial.’
- ‘Take the SecurID offering for example; I have a fob on my keyring measuring 65x40x19 mm.’
- ‘A 10-way adjustable power driver's seat is linked to a memory system that can be controlled by the key fob.’
- ‘He spotted Ford's keys and nodded toward the silver fob attached.’
- ‘She pulled them out and clicked the key fob to unlock the doors.’
- ‘I just picked up my key fob, pointed it at the Botany Bay, and clicked the LOCK button to see if the car's lights would flash.’
- ‘Lee reassembled his fob and stuck it back into his pocket.’
- ‘Although aftermarket starters are available for any car, the Malibu's is conveniently integrated into the key fob.’
- ‘Somewhat similar to a car's key fob, home security key fobs include buttons to activate and deactivate the house alarm system.’
Mid 17th century (denoting a fob pocket in a waistband): origin uncertain; probably related to German dialect Fuppe ‘pocket’.
verb[with object]fob someone off
1Deceitfully attempt to satisfy someone by making excuses or giving them something inferior.‘I was fobbed off with bland reassurances’
put off, stall, give someone the runaround, deceiveView synonyms
- ‘I spend the next four days trying to speak to Marcia but every time I phone - her Mother fobs me off with excuses.’
- ‘Social Services fobbed us off with excuses for eight months.’
- ‘Mark made many attempts to get medical help but his GP fobbed him off by saying that he had a trapped nerve, wind or a back problem!’
- ‘Every time I ring them up they try to fob me off with different excuses.’
- ‘After countless phone calls in which she said she was fobbed off with excuses, Mrs Carter was told it would be done by Friday.’
- ‘I didn't want Sunday to have an early warning of my arrival so that she would be able to fob me off with pre-planned excuses.’
- ‘She is anything but satisfied with the way she has been fobbed off by everyone, including APRA.’
- ‘They took direction from Laois County Council but we were fobbed off.’
- ‘Mrs McArthur said: ‘I feel as though we have been fobbed off.’’
- ‘Real ones aren't that hard to find, but beware unscrupulous merchandisers who attempt to fob you off with fakes.’
- 1.1fob something off on Give (someone) something inferior to or different from what they want.‘the second-rate products fobbed off on many beer-drinkers’
impose, palm off, unload, dump, get rid of, foist, offload, inflict, thrustView synonyms
- ‘He refuses the offer of the job of Emperor, fobbing it off on the eldest son of the former ruler.’
- ‘Detroit has long pumped out cars that no one wants, only to fob them off on rental fleets for next to nothing.’
- ‘He could have fobbed it off on the next parliament as so many of his predecessors had done.’
- ‘But I suggested fobbing it off on my grandfather, who was old and wouldn't know the difference.’
- ‘Someone would buy it, discover they'd been had, and fob it off on the next poor sap.’
- ‘You could tell just by the way they acted; the kid had been fobbed off on them for a while.’
- ‘My love for her is as unilateral as my desire to punch that guy, and I can't fob it off on her.’
- ‘Rather, it was deliberate policy to ignore those annoying Red Cross reports and fob them off on the legal staff for their amusement.’
- ‘What makes me mad is that someone actually raises these critters and fobs them off on the unsuspecting public.’
- ‘If the poem doesn't work for me then I can't in conscience try to fob it off on anyone else.’
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘cheat out of’): origin uncertain; perhaps related to German foppen ‘deceive, cheat, banter’, or to fop.
A forward operating base.
A recent immigrant, especially regarded as being unassimilated.
1960s: from the initial letters of fresh off the boat; compare with off the boat.
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.