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90s Slang You Should Know


[hob-nob] /ˈhɒbˌnɒb/
verb (used without object), hobnobbed, hobnobbing.
to associate on very friendly terms (usually followed by with):
She often hobnobs with royalty.
Archaic. to drink together.
a friendly, informal chat.
Origin of hobnob
1595-1605; from the phrase hab or nab literally, have or have not, Old English habban to have + nabban not to have (ne not + habban to have) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hobnob
Historical Examples
  • Will you, when refused entrance at the front door, go in at the rear and hobnob with the servants?

    A Woman of the World Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  • He'd not turn from the duty intrusted to him to hobnob with a Prince of the Blood.

  • There were even ladies in bonnets, as if they had run in neighborly to hobnob an hour with Iwakura.

    From the Easy Chair, series 3 George William Curtis
  • You would not wish to insult me by refusing to hobnob with me?

    The Red Track Gustave Aimard
  • Four pleasanter men do not now exist in the bosom of the earth, than the friends with whom we are now on the hobnob.

  • Here on the road they are as good as any; they hobnob with the rose.

    In the Open Stanton Davis Kirkham
  • It sometimes happens that a stray wolf will hobnob with the dogs, and litters of half wolf, half dog have been born at the posts.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • Jacinto Quesada had not stopped in passing to hobnob with the Gypsies.

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • Again I am struck by the familiar way in which the Russians hobnob with the Mongols.

    A Wayfarer in China Elizabeth Kendall
  • To go and hobnob with the Chambannes and their friends, that would be the last straw!

    Two banks of the Seine Fernand Vandrem
British Dictionary definitions for hobnob


verb -nobs, -nobbing, -nobbed (intransitive) often foll by with
to socialize or talk informally
(obsolete) to drink (with)
Word Origin
C18: from hob or nob to drink to one another in turns, hence, to be familiar, ultimately from Old English habban to have + nabban not to have
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hobnob

1763, "to drink to each other," from hob and nob (1756) "to toast each other by turns, to buy alternate rounds of drinks," from c.1550 hab nab "to have or have not, hit or miss," probably ultimately from Old English habban, nabban "have, not have," with the negative particle ne- attached, as was customary. Modern sense of "socialize" is 1866. Related: Hobnobbed; hobnobbing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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