Hobson's choice


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Related to Hobson's choice: Occam's Razor

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 periodicals archive ?
But I am also very happy with my career as an actor and to be appearing in such productions as Hobson's Choice and at this remarkable theatre, '' said Dyfrig.
The ballet version of Hobson's Choice required many more settings but being a ballet, it's easier to do because you can use backcloths.
8 HOBSON'S Choice at The Lowry, Salford Quays, September 9-13.
I finished Second Generation in December and have been all over the country with Hobson's Choice.
Obviously, the company respond with an understanding and devotion that brings Hobson's Choice vividly to life and makes it my choice for a great evening out.
Based on Harold Brighouse's original comedy and created by BRB director David Bintley, Hobson's Choice is a firm favourite with dance audiences.
Veteran TV actor Tony Britton stars in the classic comedy Hobson's Choice, which runs from June 4 to June 8.
HAVING read Joe Riley's comments (ECHO, Feb 2) re Hobson's Choice at the Neptune theatre, I find it amazing that someone could sit through such a show and be as hypocritical as to mark it as low as five out of 10.
CLASSIC comedy Hobson's Choice has been leaving audiences chuckling since 1915 and is back on the Warwickshire stage tonight.
ONE of Britain's best-loved comedies, Hobson's Choice, gets a new production directed by a Merseyside writer of musicals (Her Benny, David Copperfield), Anne Dalton.
Richard, 64, has returned to his home city, where he made his stage debut 50 years ago, to star in a revival of the classic Lancashire comedy, Hobson's Choice.
He was the first British composer to win an Oscar, for Bridge on the River Kwai, and scored 132 films including Hobson's Choice and Whistle Down the Wind, plus nine symphonies, seven ballets and two operas.
CLASSIC comedy Hobson's Choice is the new offering at the Loft Theatre in Leamington next week.
But come 2004 it may no longer be Hobson's choice for enthusiasts looking for something a bit different to your run-of-the-mill small hatchback, and this strikingly styled new Suzuki could be just the job.
Hobson's Choice opens at the Neptune Theatre on February 1 and runs until February 5.