- Archaic. to cheat; deceive.
- fob off,
- to cheat someone by substituting something spurious or inferior; palm off (often followed by on): He tried to fob off an inferior brand on us.
- to put (someone) off by deception or trickery: She fobbed us off with false promises.
Origin of fob2
- to appease or trick (a person) with lies or excuses
- to dispose of (goods) by trickery
- a chain or ribbon by which a pocket watch is attached to a waistcoat
- any ornament hung on such a chain
- a small pocket in a man's waistcoat, for holding a watch
- a metal or plastic tab on a key ring
- an archaic word for cheat
- NZ slang a Pacific Islander who has newly arrived in New Zealand
Word Origin and History for fob off
1650s, "small pocket for valuables," probably related to Low German fobke "pocket," High German fuppe "pocket," "a dialectal word used in Livonia" [Klein]. Meaning "chain attached to a watch carried in the fob" is from 1885.
"to cheat," late 14c., from obsolete noun fobbe "cheat, trickster" (late 14c.), perhaps from Old French forbe "cheat" [OED]. Alternative etymology holds that the word is perhaps related to German foppen "to jeer at, make a fool of" (see fop); or from German fuppen, einfuppen "to pocket stealthily," which would connect it to fob (n.). To fob (someone) off is first recorded 1590s. Related: Fobbed; fobbing.
Idioms and Phrases with fob off
Sell or dispose of goods by fraud or deception, as in They tried to fob off the zircon as a diamond. [c. 1600]
Put off or appease by deceitful means, as in We needed her help but were fobbed off by promises. [c. 1600]