Origin of bob

1
First recorded in 1400–50, bob is from the late Middle English word bobben. See bob2

bob

2
[bob]

noun

a style of short haircut for women and children.
a docked horse's tail.
a dangling or terminal object, as the weight on a pendulum or a plumb line.
a short, simple line in a verse or song, especially a short refrain or coda.
Angling.
  1. a knot of worms, rags, etc., on a string.
  2. a float for a fishing line.
a bobsled or bob skate.
Scot. a bunch, cluster, or wad, especially a small bouquet of flowers.
Obsolete. walking beam.

verb (used with object), bobbed, bob·bing.

to cut short; dock: They bobbed their hair to be in style.

verb (used without object), bobbed, bob·bing.

to try to snatch floating or dangling objects with the teeth: to bob for apples.
Angling. to fish with a bob.

Origin of bob

2
1300–50; Middle English bobbe (noun) spray, cluster, bunch (of leaves, flowers, fruit, etc.); of uncertain origin

bob

3
[bob]

noun

a tap; light blow.
a polishing wheel of leather, felt, or the like.

verb (used with object), bobbed, bob·bing.

to tap; strike lightly.

Origin of bob

3
1350–1400; Middle English bobben to strike, beat, perhaps imitative See bop2

bob

4
[bob]

noun, plural bob. British Informal.

a shilling.

Origin of bob

4
First recorded in 1780–90; perhaps from Bob

Bob

[bob]

noun

a male given name, form of Robert.

Kiphuth

[kip-uh th]

noun

Robert J(ohn) H(erman)Bob, 1890–1967, U.S. swimming coach.

Marley

[mahr-lee]

noun

Robert NestaBob, 1945–81, Jamaican reggae singer, guitarist, and songwriter: popularizer of Rastafarianism.

Mathias

[muh-thahy-uh s]

noun

Robert BruceBob, 1930–2006, U.S. track-and-field athlete.

Beamon

[bee-muh n]

noun

RobertBob, born 1946, U.S. track-and-field athlete.

Cousy

[koo-zee]

noun

Robert JosephBob, born 1928, U.S. basketball player.

Feller

[fel-er]

noun

Robert William AndrewBobBullet Bob, 1918–2010, U.S. baseball player.

Fosse

[fos-ee]

noun

Robert LouisBob, 1927–87, U.S. dancer, choreographer, and theater and film director.

Gibson

2
[gib-suh n]

noun

Althea,1927–2003, U.S. tennis player.
Charles Da·na [dey-nuh] /ˈdeɪ nə/, 1867–1944, U.S. artist and illustrator.
Josh(ua),1911–47, U.S. baseball player.
RobertBob, born 1935, U.S. baseball pitcher.
a male given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for bob

Contemporary Examples of bob

Historical Examples of bob

  • This process is performed by girls, with the aid of what is called a “bob” or “glazer.”

  • "Bob, it's damned hard to find a straight-legged dog," laughed Danby.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • "I thought I'd come back and tell you," said Bob Lewis, apologetically.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • Captain Bob has been a Sandy Hook pilot for some years back.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • "Cap'n Bob stopped it, sir," was sure to have been the proffered reply.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith


British Dictionary definitions for bob

bob

1

verb bobs, bobbing or bobbed

to move or cause to move up and down repeatedly, as while floating in water
to move or cause to move with a short abrupt movement, as of the head
to make (a bow or curtsy)the little girl bobbed before the visitor
(intr usually foll by up) to appear or emerge suddenly
(intr; foll by under, below, etc) to disappear suddenly, as beneath a surface
(intr usually foll by for) to attempt to get hold (of a floating or hanging object, esp an apple) in the teeth as a game

noun

a short abrupt movement, as of the head
a quick curtsy or bow
bell-ringing a particular set of changes
angling
  1. short for bobfloat
  2. the topmost fly on a cast of three, often fished bobbing at the surface
  3. this position on a wet-fly cast

Word Origin for bob

C14: of uncertain origin

bob

2

noun

a hairstyle for women and children in which the hair is cut short evenly all round the head
a dangling or hanging object, such as the weight on a pendulum or on a plumb line
a polishing disc on a rotating spindle. It is usually made of felt, leather, etc, impregnated with an abrasive material
short for bob skate, bobsleigh
a runner or pair of runners on a bobsled
angling a small knot of worms, maggots, etc, used as bait
a very short line of verse at the end of a stanza or preceding a rhyming quatrain (the wheel) at the end of a stanza
a refrain or burden with such a short line or lines
a docked tail, esp of a horse
British dialect a hanging cluster, as of flowers or ribbons

verb bobs, bobbing or bobbed

(tr) to cut (the hair) in a bob
(tr) to cut short (something, esp the tail of an animal); dock or crop
(intr) to ride on a bobsled

Word Origin for bob

C14 bobbe bunch of flowers, perhaps of Celtic origin

bob

3

verb bobs, bobbing or bobbed

to tap or cause to tap or knock lightly (against)

noun

a light knock; tap

Word Origin for bob

C13 bobben to rap, beat; see bop ²

bob

4

noun plural bob

British (formerly) an informal word for a shilling (def. 1)

Word Origin for bob

C19: of unknown origin

Bob

noun

Bob's your uncle slang everything is or will turn out all right

Word Origin for Bob

C19: perhaps from pet form of Robert

feller

1

noun

a person or thing that fells
an attachment on a sewing machine for felling seams

feller

2

noun

a nonstandard variant of fellow

fosse

foss

noun

a ditch or moat, esp one dug as a fortification

Word Origin for fosse

C14: from Old French, from Latin fossa; see fossa 1

Gibson

1

noun

mainly US a cocktail consisting of four or more parts dry gin and one part dry vermouth, iced and served with a pickled pearl onion

Gibson

2

noun

Mel. born 1956, Australian film actor and director: his films include Mad Max (1979), Hamlet (1990), Braveheart (1996; also directed), What Women Want (2000), The Passion of the Christ (2004; director only), and Apocalypto (2006; director and co-writer)

Marley

noun

Bob, full name Robert Nesta Marley. 1945–81, Jamaican reggae singer, guitarist, and songwriter. With his group, the Wailers, his albums included Burnin' (1973), Natty Dread (1975), Rastaman Vibration (1976), and Exodus (1977)
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

Word Origin and History for bob
v.1

"move with a short, jerking motion," late 14c., probably connected to Middle English bobben "to strike, beat" (late 13c.), perhaps of echoic origin. Another early sense was "to make a fool of, cheat" (early 14c.). Related: Bobbed; bobbing. The sense in bobbing for apples (or cherries) recorded by 1799.

n.2

"short hair," 1680s, attested 1570s in sense of "a horse's tail cut short," from earlier bobbe "cluster" (as of leaves), mid-14c., a northern word, perhaps of Celtic origin (cf. Irish baban "tassel, cluster," Gaelic babag). Used over the years in various senses connected by the notion of "round, hanging mass," e.g. "weight at the end of a line" (1650s). The hair sense was revived with a shift in women's styles early 20c. (verb 1918, noun 1920). Related words include bobby pin, bobby sox, bobsled, bobcat.

n.1

"act of bobbing," 1540s, from bob (v.1). As a slang word for "shilling" it is attested from 1789, but the signification is unknown.

fosse

n.

early 14c. (late 13c. in place names), "ditch, trench," mid-15c., from Old French fosse "ditch, grave, dungeon" (12c.), from Latin fossa "ditch," in full fossa terra, literally "dug earth," from fem. past participle of fodere "to dig" (see fossil).

The Fosse-way (early 12c.), one of the four great Roman roads of Britain, probably was so called from the ditch on either side of it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper