In Reply to: Knobby Hall posted by Paul Grant on September 30, 2008 at 09:20:
: What is the origin of "Knobby Hall"?
This nickname, which is usually spelled 'Nobby', appears to come from a playground rhyme - "His name was Nobby Hall and he only had one ball".
Here in the UK, it is people with the surname Clark[e] that are given the nickname Nobby. Nob is another term for toff. Clark and clerk are pronounced the same here and it is conjectured that 'Nobby clerk' derives from the fact that clerks used to wear top hats, giving them the appearance of upper-class gents.
Nobby is also a shortened form of Norbert. The best-known Nobby in the UK is neither a Hall or a Clarke, but Nobby (Norbert) Stiles, the 1966 World Cup winner.