Hobson-Jobson

noun

Hob·​son-Job·​son
¦häbsən¦jäbsən
plural -s
: assimilation of the sounds of a word or words foreign to a language into the sounds of a word or words coined or already existent in the language (as Spanish cucaracha has become English cockroach or as English riding coat has become French redingote)
the law of Hobson-Jobson has played a great role in the evolution of surnamesR. F. Barton
compare folk etymology

Word History

Etymology

Anglo-Indian modification (influenced by the English surnames Hobson and Jobson) of Arabic yā Ḥasan! yā Ḥusayn! O Hasan! O Husain! (cry repeated at the Muharram festival as an expression of mourning for Hasan and Husain, grandsons of Muhammad, killed in the early struggles between the Sunni and Shiʽa parties)

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Dictionary Entries Near Hobson-Jobson

Cite this Entry

“Hobson-Jobson.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Hobson-Jobson. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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