Hobson's choice

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Hobson's choice

the choice between taking what is offered and getting nothing at all. (From the name of a stable owner in the seventeenth century who always hired out the horse nearest the door.) We didn't really want that particular hotel, but it was a case of Hobson's choice. We booked very late and there was nothing else left. If you want a yellow car, it's Hobson's choice. The garage has only one.
See also: choice

Hobson's choice

a situation in which it seems that you can choose between different things or actions, but there is really only one thing that you can take or do
Usage notes: Thomas Hobson was a man who kept horses and did not give people a choice about which horse they could have.
It's Hobson's choice, because if I don't agree to do what they want, I'll lose my job.
See also: choice

Hobson's choice

An apparently free choice that actually offers no alternative. For example, My dad said if I wanted the car I could have it tonight or not at all-that's Hobson's choice . This expression alludes to Thomas Hobson of Cambridge, England, who rented horses and allowed each customer to take only the horse nearest the stable door. [Mid-1600s]
See also: choice

Hobson's choice

No choice at all, take it or leave it. Thomas Hobson ran a livery stable in Cambridge, England, in the 16th century. He had a simple policy about renting out his horses: you took what he gave you or you went horseless (some accounts say he rented whichever animal was in the stall nearest the door). Hobson's spirit lives on in the joke about a passenger aboard El Al Airlines who asked the flight attendant what the choice of dinner was. She replied with a smile, “The choice is yes or no.”
See also: choice
References in classic literature ?
There's Hobson, the Babtis' preacher; and Deacon Lot Hovey, and Ben Rucker, and Abner Shackleford, and Levi Bell, the lawyer; and Dr.
While on remand, Hobson bragged that he had 'never felt better' and said life in jail was like being on Big Brother.
Leeds Crown Court was told how shaven-headed Hobson, 35, subjected Diane Sanderson to horrific sexual mutilation, possibly while she was still alive, before going on the run.
Today former binman Mark Hobson pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court to the murders of his girlfriend Claire Sanderson and her twin Diane, and pensioners James and Joan Britton.
In this autobiography, Harvard neurophysiologist Hobson demonstrates the advances that he and his colleagues have made during his 30-plus-year career in dream research.
Not so smug now: Police lead McKenzie away for questioningSCOTS police officers have joined the hunt for quadruple-murder suspect Mark Hobson.
SCARFACED murder suspect Mark Hobson phoned Diane Sanderson and got her to go to the flat where she was later killed, it emerged yesterday.
Paoli, PA 6/21/04 -- AMETEK has acquired Taylor Hobson Holdings Limited, a manufacturer of contact and noncontact ultra-precision measurement instruments, for approximately 51 [pounds sterling] million ($93.
Progressive Components has also formed an alliance with Hobson Consulting, Ltd.
Mitchell's remarks in SiR in 1982 that it was high time to turn attention to a "dangerous Blake," insisting among other things on his "obscenity," on detailing his interest in "abnormal sexuality" and on the fact that he "was not a nice man," Hobson never budges from his contention that Blake's evocation of minority sex was entirely at the behest of "niceness.
The most important thing that the survey revealed was that black Americans are just as bullish as white Americans," says Mellody Hobson, Ariel senior vice president, director of marketing.
After three and a half years serving in the army, some of it during the war, Hobson returned to a job which had been kept open for him by a wholesale grocer's company.