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This week's theme
Words with horse-related origins

This week's words
horse-and-buggy
horse latitudes
stalking horse
hobbyhorse
Trojan horse

Hobbyhorse
hobbyhorse
(Illustration: W.W. Denslow)

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

hobbyhorse

PRONUNCIATION:
(HOB-ee-hors))

MEANING:
noun: A favorite pastime, a pet project or topic; an obsession.

ETYMOLOGY:
The everyday word hobby is a shortening of the term hobbyhorse. A hobbyhorse is a child's riding toy, consisting of a stick with the shape of a horse's head on the front. It was called hobbyhorse, probably from the name Robin or Hobin usually given to a small horse. The word is often used in a metaphorical sense as "to ride one's hobbyhorse" meaning to pursue a pet topic.
Also see cheval de bataille.

USAGE:
"Charleston was my father's ministry, his hobbyhorse, his quiet obsession, and the great love of his life."
Pat Conroy; South of Broad; Nan A. Talese Books; 2009.

See more usage examples of hobbyhorse in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The test of a democracy is not the magnificence of buildings or the speed of automobiles or the efficiency of air transportation, but rather the care given to the welfare of all the people. -Helen Adams Keller, lecturer and author (1880-1968)

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