Ever wondered where the saying ‘Hobson’s choice’ comes from or what it means? Hobson’s choice, Hobson’s choice ….
I had no idea so decided to investigate. Better than looking vacant and shaking my head in tacit agreement! I looked in my handy reference guide on all things literate – Troublesome Words by the famous Bill Bryson.
Aha!!! Hobson’s choice means no choice at all.
Way back in the sixteenth century a stable-keeper named Thomas Hobson came up with a novel way of hiring out his horses using a strict rotation method to make sure his charges were not over or under-worked. When the customers came, he would take their money and tell them to take the horse nearest the door – or none at all. Simple …
I’ve been doing this all my life. Dinner’s on the table … like it or lump it!