See also: hobson-jobson

English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Derived from adapting the call Hassan! Hussein! (حَسَن حُسَيْن(ḥasan ḥusayn), a lament for the grandsons of the Prophet Muhammad) to Hobson and Jobson, a pair of comic figures popular in the nineteenth century. Note that the conventional derivation from "Ya Hussan! Ya Hussein!" is incorrect.[1][2] Coined in the linguistic sense by Yule and Burnell in their dictionary Hobson-Jobson.[3]

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌhɒb.sənˈdʒɒb.sən/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌhɑb.sənˈdʒɑb.sən/
  • (file)

Noun edit


Hobson-Jobson (countable and uncountable, plural Hobson-Jobsons)

  1. (Anglo-Indian, slang, obsolete) Any Indian religious observance, especially the Muharram.
    • 1851, Jamie Gordon, page 85:
      ‘You must be moped to death in this dull place; and next week is Hobson Jobson. Can’t you throw some dust any how, in the eyes of the cat, and meet me and Philip somewhere, and so get away to the Tamacha.’
    • 1903 April 8, Queensland Figaro, Brisbane, page 23, column 2:
      The dusky sons of Mohammed have been having a high old time down at the British India Company’s wharves during the past few days. [. . .] It was the great week of ‘Hobson-Jobson,’ as it is known out East, or the time of the Mohurram.
  2. (linguistics, uncountable) The assimilation of borrowed lexis, either partial or whole, to word forms of the borrowing language.
    • 1886, Henry Yule, A.C. Burnell, Hobson-Jobson, page 265:
      Falaun, s. [] gradually, by a process of Hobson-Jobson, this was turned into Forlorn.
    • 1909 February 20, The Argus, Melbourne, page 6, column 4:
      Learned persons, especially those who know all about ‘Volksetymologie,’ whether under that imposing name, or more familiarly as ‘Hobson-Jobson,’ are advised to pass on to the next question.
  3. (linguistics, countable) A word or phrase borrowed by one language from another and modified in pronunciation to fit the set of sounds the borrowing language typically uses.
    Hypernym: loanword
    • 1899 June, Indian Antiquary, page 161, column 2:
      CARAFT, here is a delicious Hobson-Jobson from that veritable well of curious Anglo-Indianisms, the Madras Manual of Administration[.]
    • 1977, Robert H. Stacy, Defamiliarization in Language and Literature, page 51:
      If the French for pun, calembour, derives (as Spitzer maintained) from "conundrum"; this points up well the at first puzzling effect of such devices. Caran d'Ache is in fact an intentional hobson-jobson.
    • 2003, Jan Venolia, The Right Word!, page 4:
      A Hobson-Jobson turns a difficult word or phrase into something more tractable (or perhaps less offensive). By that route, a Texas river that French trappers had named Purgatoire became the Picketwire, and the Malay word kampong became the English word compound.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ T. Nagle (2010), “'There is Much, Very Much, in the Name of a Book' or, the Famous Title of Hobson-Jobson and How it Got that Way”, in 'Cunning Passages, Contrived Corridors': Unexpected Essays in the History of Lexicography, Monza: Polimetrica, →ISBN, page 111–128
  2. ^ James Lambert (2014), “A much tortured expression: A new look at Hobson-Jobson.”, in International Journal of Lexicography[1], volume 27, issue 1, page 54-88
  3. ^ James Lambert (2014), “A much tortured expression: A new look at Hobson-Jobson.”, in International Journal of Lexicography[2], volume 27, issue 1, page 54-88

Further reading edit