[hob-uh l-dee-hoi] /ˈhɒb əl diˌhɔɪ/

an awkward, ungainly youth.
(archaic or dialect) a clumsy or bad-mannered youth

“clumsy or awkward youth,” 1530s, of uncertain origin and the subject of much discussion. First element is probably hob in its sense of “clown, prankster” (see hobgoblin), the second element perhaps is Middle French de haye “worthless, untamed, wild,” literally “of the hedge.”


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