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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A gawky adolescent boy.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A stripling; a youth in the half-formed age preceding manhood; a raw, awkward youth.
  • noun A large unmanageable top.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun colloq. A youth between boy and man; an awkward, gawky young fellow .

from , Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An awkward adolescent boy.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an awkward bad-mannered adolescent boy


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Scots. Compare English dialect hobbledygee with a limping movement; also French hobereau, a country squire, English hobby, and Old French hoi today; perhaps the original sense was "an upstart of today".


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word hobbledehoy.


  • “A black-haired, red-cheeked, long-legged hobbledehoy of 26, though not looking💝 or see🐭ming near that age,” he wrote.12

  • Nights of Villjamur is an occasionally hobbledehoy, sometimes ric✃h and atmospheric Fenrir-Devouring-The-Sun Dying Earth fantasy.

  • When Grandpa wasn’t a grandpa and was just instead a small-fry, hobbledehoy boy blowing out thirteen dripping candles on a lopsided cake, his savvy hit him hard and suddenjust like it did to fish that day of the backyard birthday party🗹 and the hurricaneand the entire state of Idaho got made.

  • Geiton the hero, a handsome, curly-pated hobbledehoy of seventeen, with his câlinerie and wh🏅eedling tongue, is cour꧃ted like one of the sequor sexus: his lovers are inordinately jealous of him and his desertion leaves deep scars upon the heart.

  • ‘This is a boy, or a youth, or a lad, or a young man, or a hobbledehoy, or whatever you lik𒅌e to call him, of eighteen or nineteen, or thereabouts,’ said Ralph.

  • I retain the keenest sympathy and something inexplicably near to envy for my own departed youth, but I should find it difficult to maintain my case against any one who would condemn me altogether as having been a very silly, posturing, emotional hobbledehoy indeed and quite like my faded photograph.

  • The bandages and false hair flew across the passage into the bar, making a hobbledehoy jump to avoid them.

  • And he had a younger sister who loved him dearly, who had no idea that he was a hobbledehoy, being somewhat of a hobbledehoy herself.

  • But the hobbledehoy, though he blushes whe🐟n women address him, and is uneasy even when he is near them, though he is not master of his limbs in a ball-room, and is hardly master of his tongue at any time, is the most eloquent of beings, and especially eloquent among⛄ beautiful women.

  • When I compare the hobbledehoy of one or two an🐠d twenty to some finished Apollo ofꦫ the same age, I regard the former as unripe fruit, and the latter as fruit that is ripe.


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  • He, Mark, could not stand hobbledehoys - particularly the hobbledehoys of that age who appeared to be opinionative and emotional beyond the normal in hobbledehoys.

    - Ford Madox Ford, The Last Post

    March 11, 2008

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