From Hull AWE
- Hob is a short form of the forename Robert. There are two main types of such shortenings: they are convenient for writing, e.g. in lists; or they are essentially spoken pet-names, and thus informal. (See Conventional abbreviations for forenames.)
|Short form||Long form||Informal or written||Other short forms||Remarks|
|Hob||Robert||informal||Bob(bie)/Bobby; Rab(bie); Robby; Dob; Nob(by); Robin||From 14th century, a stereotypical name for 'a country bumpkin', a peasant|
- Note that any informal form may be spelled in different ways. Notably, any spelling listed that ends in '-ie' may be written with the ending '-y', and vice versa.. The pet-name Hob is not used these days, but it survives in much British folklore, and in such surnames as Hobson ([descended from] a son of Robert').
- The common noun hob is the name of the level surface on which cooking is done. It is the top of a modern gas or electric cooker, or a solid-fuel range; in an open fire, it is a flat surface near the flames.
- (A hobnail, common in shoe-making in the past, is a nail with a flat head - like that of the cooking surface - used in the soles and heels of working people's boots to improve the wear, and to increase the grip on mud and similar surfaces. They had poor grip on rock.)
- In folklore, hobgoblin is a familiar name for a goblin, brownie or similar supernatural being. In the north of England, brownies (creatures who would work for good humans, and cause mischief for less sympathetic ones) were known as hobs tout court.