hobby

1
[hob-ee]
|

noun, plural hob·bies.

an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation: Her hobbies include stamp-collecting and woodcarving.
a child's hobbyhorse.
Archaic. a small horse.

Idioms

    ride a hobby, to concern oneself excessively with a favorite notion or activity.Also ride a hobbyhorse.

Origin of hobby

1
1325–75; Middle English hoby(n), probably for Robin, or Robert (cf. hob2), used as horse's name, as in dobbin
Related formshob·by·ist, nounhob·by·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for ride a hobby horse

hobby

1

noun plural -bies

an activity pursued in spare time for pleasure or relaxation
archaic, or dialect a small horse or pony
an early form of bicycle, without pedals
Derived Formshobbyist, noun

Word Origin for hobby

C14 hobyn, probably variant of proper name Robin; compare dobbin

hobby

2

noun plural -bies

any of several small Old World falcons, esp the European Falco subbuteo, formerly used in falconry

Word Origin for hobby

C15: from Old French hobet, from hobe falcon; probably related to Middle Dutch hobbelen to roll, turn
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 ride a hobby horse

hobby

n.

late 13c., hobyn, "small horse, pony," later "mock horse used in the morris dance," and c.1550 "child's toy riding horse," which led to hobby-horse in a transferred sense of "favorite pastime or avocation," first recorded 1670s, shortened to hobby by 1816. The connecting notion being "activity that doesn't go anywhere." Probably originally a proper name for a horse (cf. dobbin), a diminutive of Robert or Robin. The original hobbyhorse was a "Tourney Horse," a wooden or basketwork frame worn around the waist and held on with shoulder straps, with a fake tail and horse head attached, so the wearer appears to be riding a horse. These were part of church and civic celebrations at Midsummer and New Year's throughout England.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper