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Play hob with

Posted by Scott Stock Gissendanner on June 13, 2009 at 07:45

What is the origin of the idiom "to play hob with"?

The meaning seems clear: to make a mess of. I'm guessing it originates in the meaning of "hob" - a mischievous fairy as in hob goblin. But how old is the phrase? I found it in a book written in 1990.