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hobbyhorse

[hob-ee-hawrs]
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noun
  1. rocking horse,
  2. a figure of a horse, attached at the waist of a performer in a morris dance, pantomime, etc.
  3. a pet idea or project.
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Origin of hobbyhorse

First recorded in 1550–60; hobby1 + horse
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for hobbyhorse

hobbyhorse

noun
  1. a toy consisting of a stick with a figure of a horse's head at one end
  2. another word for rocking horse
  3. a figure of a horse attached to a performer's waist in a pantomime, morris dance, etc
  4. a favourite topic or obsessive fixed idea (esp in the phrase on one's hobbyhorse)
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verb
  1. (intr) nautical (of a vessel) to pitch violently
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Word Origin

C16: from hobby 1, originally a small horse, hence sense 3; then generalized to apply to any pastime
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