Word of the day

The word for today is…

hobbyhorse (noun) – 1. A child’s riding toy that consists of a long stick with an imitation horse’s head on one end.
2. (a) A figure of a horse worn attached to the waist of a mummer, as in a morris dance.
(b) A person wearing such a figure.
3. (a) A favorite hobby.
(b) A topic that one frequently brings up or dwells on; a fixation.

Source : The Free Dictionary

Etymology : Also hobby-horse, 1550s, “mock horse used in the morris dance;” 1580s, “child’s toy riding horse,” from hobby + horse. Transferred sense of “favorite pastime or avocation” first recorded 1670s (shortened to hobby by 1816). The connecting notion being “activity that doesn’t go anywhere.”

The hobbyhorse originally was a “Tourney Horse,” a wooden or basketwork frame worn around the waist and held on with shoulder straps, with a fake tail and horse head attached, so the wearer appears to be riding a horse. These were part of church and civic celebrations at Midsummer and New Year’s throughout England.


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Peter is a fourth-generation New Zealander, with his mother’s and father’s folks having arrived in New Zealand in the 1870s. He lives in Lower Hutt with his wife, two cats and assorted computers.

His work history has been in the timber, banking and real estate industries, and he’s now enjoying retirement. He has been interested in computers for over thirty years and is a strong advocate for free open source software. He is chairman of the SeniorNet Hutt City committee.

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