A Hobson's choice is a free choice in which only one option is offered. As a person may refuse to take that option, the choice is therefore between taking the option or not; "take it or leave it". The phrase is said to originate with Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a livery stable owner in Cambridge, England. To rotate the use of his horses, he offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door or taking none at all.
Famous quotes containing the word choice:
“If the heart beguiles itself in its choice [of a wife], and imagination will give excellencies which are not the portion of flesh and blood:Mwhen the dream is over, and we awake in the morning, it matters little whether tis Rachael or Leah,be the object what it will, as it must be on the earthly side ... of perfection,it will fall short of the work of fancy, whose existence is in the clouds.”
—Laurence Sterne (17131768)