Origin of hobnobearlier habnab, literally , to have and not have ; from Middle English habben, to have + nabben (; from ne habben), not to have, especially with reference to taking turns in drinking
- Now Rare to drink together
- Informal to associate or mingle (with others, esp. famous or socially prominent people)
intransitive verbhob·nobbed, hob·nob·bing, hob·nobs
Origin of hobnobEarlier hob-or-nob, hob-nob, to toast or drink to each other alternately, drink together, from hob or nob, hob a nob, hob nob, give or take, hit or miss, however it may turn out (spoken as a toast when clinking glasses), alteration of obsolete and dialectal hab nab (perhaps originally meaning “have or have not”) : probably Middle English habbe, singular present subjunctive of Middle English haven, habben, to have; see have + Middle English nabbe, have not, singular present subjunctive of nabben, not to have (from Old English nabban : ne, not; see ne in Indo-European roots + habban, to have; see have).
(third-person singular simple present hobnobs, present participle hobnobbing, simple past and past participle hobnobbed)
- To associate in a friendly manner, often with those of a higher class or status.
- The ambitious young student hobnobbed with the faculty at the prestigious college he hoped to attend.
- His favorite spot in the club was the bar, where he could hobnob with the big-wigs.
- To drink together.
- (obsolete) At random; hit and miss.
(1595–1605) From Old English habban (“have”) and nabban (“not have”), thus “have or have not”.