Hobson's choice

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jul 5 20:08:10 UTC 2013

I meant to say: OED has a citation for the phrase Hobson's choice in
1660 and that seems to be the earliest currently known. ...

On Fri, Jul 5, 2013 at 3:57 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> OED has a citation from Hobson's choice in 1660 and that seems to be
> the earliest currently known. Back on 2009 Fred sent a message to the
> ADS list about the term when he was searching Early English Books
> Online. The 1660 cite was the earliest cite in EEBO in 2009. Has
> anyone searched EEBO or other appropriate databases recently?
> I was asked to explore this term and have a question for list members.
> The book below contained several epitaphs for "Hobson the Carrier".
> Further below is one epitaph. Do you think this epitaph might refer to
> the choice of a single horse (or carrier) that was offered by Hobson?
> Does the phrase "Six Carriers" refer to the group carrying a coffin
> (i.e., pallbearers, though the term was no yet in use, apparently)?
> Alternatively, could it refer to a team of horses?
> Year: 1640
> Title: Witts recreations: Selected from the finest Fancies of Moderne
> Muses: With A Thousand out Landish Proverbs
> Author: George Herbert; William Marshall
> Publisher: London : Printed by R[ichard] H[odgkinson and Thomas Paine]
> for Humphry Blunden at the Castle in Corn-hill
> (The above bibliographic data is from WorldCat)
> http://books.google.com/books?id=j7_bpWjze40C&q=carriage
> [Begin excerpt]
> He that such carriage store, was wont to have,
> Is carried now himselfe unto his grave:
> O strange! he that in life ne're made but one,
> Six Carriers makes, now he is dead and gone.
> [End excerpt]
> Garson

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