Did You Know?
Nobby comes from the noun nob, which is used in British English to mean "one in a superior position in life." (Nob may have begun as a slang word for "head," but etymologists aren't completely sure. A possible connection to noble has been suggested as well.) Appearing in English in the 18th century, nobby was first used to describe people in society's upper echelons. It has since extended in usage to describe the places frequented by such people, as well as their genteel customs. Charles Dickens, for example, wrote in Bleak House (1853) of "[r]especting this unfortunate family matter, and the nobbiest way of keeping it quiet."
The restaurant was a bit too nobby for my tastes, but I did enjoy the food.
"Sponsorship of nobby events seems to be the favourite PR trick for City firms in the soup." — Patrick Hosking, The New Statesman, 2 June 2003
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