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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2007
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    Default Dobbin

    I know that Dobbin means a work horse or plow horse. There have been many, many horses named Dobbin or named Dobbin in literature...but what is the history or lore of the name?

    It seems so...lost.

    Is there one?
    Does anyone one know?
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  2. #2
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    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Default

    Interesting question.
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  3. #3
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    Mar. 9, 2001
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    Default

    From http://www.etymonline.com/

    "farm horse," 1596 (in "Merchant of Venice"), probably from diminutive form of Dob, familiar of Robin; personal name applied to a horse.
    It also seems to trace back to "hobby"

    http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=8442.0

    ("hQbI) [ME. hobyn, hoby, in OF. hobin, hobi, haubby, whence mod.F. aubin, It. ubino.
    The OFr. was adopted from English, where the word is app. native. In all probability it is the by-name Hobin, Hobby, var. of Robin, Robbie: see Hob n.1 According to Bp. Kennett (1695) Gloss. to Paroch. Antiq. s.v. Hobelers, ‘Our ploughmen to some one of their cart-horses generally give the name of Hobin, the very word which Phil. Comines [a1509] uses, Hist. vi. vii.’ Another by-form of the same name, dobbin, has become a generic name for a cart-horse. Cf. also dicky, donkey, neddy, cuddy, names for the ass.]
    1. A small or middle-sized horse; an ambling or pacing horse; a pony. Now Hist., arch., or dial.
    In early times hobbies are chiefly referred to as of Irish breed; in later times, also, as Welsh or Scotch.



  4. #4
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    Default

    Well, here's what the OED says about Dobbin:
    1596 [the proper name Dobbin (diminuitive of Dob, altered forms of Robin, Rob) as a pet name] 1. An ordinary draught horse; contempt., a jade.

    The next definition down is Dobby (remember him from Harry Potter?) 1691 [playful application of the proper name Dobbie (f. as prec.).] 1. Silly old man, a dotard (dial.). 2. A household sprite or apparition; a brownie (dial.). 1811.
    The other name for Puck was Robin Goodfellow.

    Also from the OED
    Hobby. sb. [ME hobyn, hoby; prob, the by-name Hobin, Hobby, var. of Robin, Robbie. Cf. DOBBIN.] 1. A small or middle-sized horse; an ambling or pacing horse; a pony. Now hist., arch., or dial.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2006
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    Default

    I always believed it was a derivative of the name Robin. Same as Neddy is just a derivative of Edward. In the UK we use Neddy as a horse or donkey but I don't know if you guys use that.

    I'm sure that's in the recesses of my mind most likely from something I've read in the annals of time



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