hobbledehoy

[ hob-uh l-dee-hoi ]
/ ˈhɒb əl diˌhɔɪ /
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noun

an awkward, ungainly youth.

Origin of hobbledehoy

1530–40; variant of hoberdyhoy, alliterative compound, equivalent to hoberd (variant of Roberd Robert) + -y2 + -hoy for boy (b > h for alliteration; see hob2)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for hobbledehoy

hobbledehoy

/ (ˌhɒbəldɪˈhɔɪ) /

noun

archaic, or dialect a clumsy or bad-mannered youth

Word Origin for hobbledehoy

C16: from earlier hobbard de hoy, of uncertain origin
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 hobbledehoy

hobbledehoy


n.

"clumsy or awkward youth," 1530s, of uncertain origin and the subject of much discussion. First element is probably hob in its sense of "clown, prankster" (see hobgoblin), the second element perhaps is Middle French de haye "worthless, untamed, wild," literally "of the hedge."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper