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Alternative forms[edit]


After the specialized glossary Hobson-Jobson which took its name from a rendering by British soldiers in India of the lament يا حسن يا حسين ‎(yā ḥassan! yā ḥussayn!, O Hassan! O Hussein!) uttered by Shia muslims crowds during the processions of their main religious event, the mourning of Muharran. Actually, the expression has taken the meaning of : "feast, festival".


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌhɒb.sənˈdʒɒb.sən/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌhɑb.sənˈdʒɑb.sən/


Hobson-Jobson ‎(plural Hobson-Jobsons)


English hoosegow ‎(jail) from Spanish juzgado
English plonk ‎(cheap wine) from the word "blanc" in vin blanc ‎(white wine)

  1. A word or phrase borrowed by one language from another and modified in pronunciation to fit the set of sounds the borrowing language typically uses.
    • 1977, Robert H. Stacy, Defamiliarization in Language and Literature, page 51
      If the French for pun, calembour, derives (as Spitzer maintained) from "conundrum"; this points up well the at first puzzling effect of such devices. Caran d'Ache is in fact an intentional hobson-jobson.
    • 2003, Jan Venolia, The Right Word!‎, page 4
      A Hobson-Jobson turns a difficult word or phrase into something more tractable (or perhaps less offensive). By that route, a Texas river that French trappers had named Purgatoire became the Picketwire, and the Malay word kampong became the English word compound.

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  • French : "pataquès" (cf Wiktionnaire , & "Larousse du XX° siècle", 5/6, p.412) - "pompion" (cf Wiktionnaire)

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