One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounFOBs, Plural fobs
1A chain attached to a watch for carrying in a waistcoat or waistband pocket.
- ‘He carried it now, attached to the fob of his watch.’
- ‘It was a silver fob, about six inches long, with a key ring at one end.’
- ‘Women favored these watch chatelaines while men preferred fobs by which to pull the watch from the pocket.’
- ‘He always wore a dark blue pinstriped suit, waistcoat with a gold fob, a red carnation, a trilby, and an umbrella.’
- ‘Its fob chain, stretched across the workingman's waistcoat, became a new symbol of respectability.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Then he fiddled with his watch fob, and without looking up said, ‘And our other matter was dealt with satisfactorily?’’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Courtwright's hammer snagged on Short's watch fob chain.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The jewelry included watch fobs, shirt studs, earrings, brooches, pins, bracelets, and crucifixes, carved with appropriate images of oak leaves and acorns.’
- ‘It needed a lot of work on the mechanism (it'd stopped winding) and a new loop made for a fob chain.’
- ‘We bloggers are not sketching evil cackling capitalists with top hats and watch fobs.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The trinkets were attached to the exposed end of the fob.’
- ‘Instead, the investigator turned out to be a grave young man attired in a three-piece suit with Edwardian collar and gold watch fob.’
- 1.1 A small ornament attached to a watch chain.
- ‘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.’
- ‘If she turns around, she'll see the silver fob and chain, marked by their daughter's teething.’
- 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.
- ‘Although aftermarket starters are available for any car, the Malibu's is conveniently integrated into the key fob.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Somewhat similar to a car's key fob, home security key fobs include buttons to activate and deactivate the house alarm system.’
- ‘On two occasions teething toddlers chewing on key fobs have swallowed the transponder needed to start the car.’
- ‘Lee reassembled his fob and stuck it back into his pocket.’
- ‘She pulled them out and clicked the key fob to unlock the doors.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘No, that's quite alright - don't you worry yourself about digging in your pocket to find your security fob.’
Mid 17th century (denoting a fob pocket in a waistband): origin uncertain; probably related to German dialect Fuppe ‘pocket’.
verbfobbed, fobs, fobbing[with object]fob someone off
1Deceitfully attempt to satisfy someone by making excuses or giving them something inferior.‘secretaries fob off most unwanted callers by saying their boss is in a meeting’
put off, stall, give someone the runaround, deceiveView synonyms
- ‘Mrs McArthur said: ‘I feel as though we have been fobbed off.’’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Every time I ring them up they try to fob me off with different excuses.’
- ‘Real ones aren't that hard to find, but beware unscrupulous merchandisers who attempt to fob you off with fakes.’
- ‘Social Services fobbed us off with excuses for eight months.’
- ‘After countless phone calls in which she said she was fobbed off with excuses, Mrs Carter was told it would be done by Friday.’
- ‘They took direction from Laois County Council but we were fobbed off.’
- ‘I spend the next four days trying to speak to Marcia but every time I phone - her Mother fobs me off with excuses.’
- ‘She is anything but satisfied with the way she has been fobbed off by everyone, including APRA.’
- ‘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!’
- 1.1fob something off on Give (someone) something inferior to or different from what they want.‘he fobbed off the chairmanship on Clifford’
impose, palm off, unload, dump, get rid of, foist, offload, inflict, thrustView synonyms
- ‘My love for her is as unilateral as my desire to punch that guy, and I can't fob it off on her.’
- ‘He refuses the offer of the job of Emperor, fobbing it off on the eldest son of the former ruler.’
- ‘He could have fobbed it off on the next parliament as so many of his predecessors had done.’
- ‘Detroit has long pumped out cars that no one wants, only to fob them off on rental fleets for next to nothing.’
- ‘If the poem doesn't work for me then I can't in conscience try to fob it off on anyone else.’
- ‘But I suggested fobbing it off on my grandfather, who was old and wouldn't know the difference.’
- ‘Rather, it was deliberate policy to ignore those annoying Red Cross reports and fob them off on the legal staff for their amusement.’
- ‘Someone would buy it, discover they'd been had, and fob it off on the next poor sap.’
- ‘What makes me mad is that someone actually raises these critters and fobs them off on the unsuspecting public.’
- ‘You could tell just by the way they acted; the kid had been fobbed off on them for a while.’
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘cheat out of’): origin uncertain; perhaps related to German foppen ‘deceive, cheat, banter’, or to fop.
nounFOBs, Plural fobsUS
A forward operating base.
nounFOBs, Plural fobsUS
A recent immigrant, especially regarded as being unassimilated.
1960s: from the initial letters of fresh off the boat; compare with off the boat.
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