Definition of bobby pin in US English:

bobby pin


North American, Australian, NZ
  • A kind of sprung hairpin or small clip.

    • ‘With shaky hands, she gently pulled back the front of her hair and clipped it back with a bobby pin.’
    • ‘Meg took a bobby pin out of her hair and pocketed it.’
    • ‘The burglar pulled out a bobby pin from his short dirty-blond hair and began picking the lock; he paused only once to gaze down at where Kamouri lay silently beneath him.’
    • ‘Rika snatches the bobby pin from her and bends it.’
    • ‘She pulled out a bobby pin from her braids and bent it backwards.’
    • ‘Biletnikoff could catch a bobby pin in a hurricane.’
    • ‘Bewildered, she bent down to look for whatever it was she had dropped, thinking it likely a bobby pin from her elaborately pinned hair.’
    • ‘‘Oh, suck it up,’ I grumbled, grabbing her finger, examining the splinter, and pulling it out with a bobby pin she had handy.’
    • ‘I found an empty classroom and picked the lock with a bobby pin that was in my hair.’
    • ‘Trying to push away negative memories, she peeked at her hair in the mirror, quickly adjusted the bobby pin that held the curls out of her face, and hurried out the door.’
    • ‘‘It's… it's nice,’ she offered, securing her longish bangs away from her face with a bobby pin she extracted from her purse.’
    • ‘Dutifully Meg rubbed her hair and brought her hands back down, and suddenly out of nowhere she felt a bobby pin.’
    • ‘Luckily, something I had always used to pass time when I was bored in class was picking a lock over and over with a bobby pin.’
    • ‘The rolled portions were held in place with a bobby pin.’
    • ‘He leaned against the bars and thought for a moment, ‘do you have a bobby pin or some other clip in your hair?’’
    • ‘Pushing my hair out of my face, I inserted the bobby pin in the keyhole.’
    • ‘His childhood memories read like urban myths: sleeping in an apartment so cold his dog froze to death one night, watching aunts cook rice on an iron and flip steaks with a bobby pin.’
    • ‘STEP 7: Secure with a bobby pin at the top of the ponytail.’
    • ‘Next, wrap the loose section of hair around the elastic to cover, then secure the end of it under the base of the ponytail with a bobby pin.’
    • ‘Something did not seem right about the situation in general, which led Lyasan to find a bobby pin from inside of her backpack and pick the lock on the door.’


[with object]
  • Fix (hair) in place with a bobby pin.

    ‘her hair was bobby-pinned up’
    • ‘I indignantly pulled my curly hair into a high, oomphy ponytail and bobby-pinned my long side bangs back on top of my head, misting myself with hairspray.’


1930s: from bob (because bobby pins were originally used with bobbed hair) + -y.


bobby pin

/ˈbɑbi pɪn//ˈbäbē pin/