play hob

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play hob (with someone or something)

slang To cause disruptions (for someone or something). "Hob" is short for "hobgoblin," a type of imp or elf that causes mischief. This wonky Internet connection is playing hob with my work day. The nasty weather played hob with our plans for the weekend.
See also: hob, play, someone
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

play (or raise) hob

cause mischief; make a fuss. North American
Hob is short for hobgoblin and is used in this mid 19th-century expression to mean the devil . Compare with raise Cain (at Cain) and raise the devil (at devil).
1993 Canadian Living When rain finally came, it wouldn't stop and played hob with the lentils that were growing there for the first time in a big way.
See also: hob, play
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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