1. a nobleman, a gentleman.
|Eng. Spy I 255: Be unto him ever ready to promote his wishes [...] against dun or don – nob or big-wig – so may you never want a bumper of bishop.|
|Tax and Axe n.p.: O that a good Nob / Had hold of Job.|
|Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: Nob. A king. A man of rank.|
|Adventures of Johnny Newcome III 144: An Admiral, and many Knobs, Who thought of coming back Nabobs.|
|‘Battle’ in Fancy I XVII 403: Boreas too [...] did took unwarrantable liberties with the nobs of the company, without making any distinction between Corinthian and Commoner, and many a hero’s topper was not replaced on his napper, without scampering a quarter of a mile or more for it.|
|‘The ‘Hell’ Birds’ in Tommarroo Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) Bawdy Songbooks (2011) IV 332: We’re well received, where e’re we go — / The knobs all come a courting.|
|Yellowplush Papers in Works III (1898) 263: My master said he’d introduce him to the Duke of Doncaster, and Heaven knows how many nobs more.|
|‘A New Song on the Birth of a Prince of Wales’ in Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 65: An old maid ran through the palace, which did the nobs surprise.|
|Satirist & Sporting Chron. (Sydney) 11 Mar. 2/3: That Lnob [sic] Mr C— / [...] / With his swell four-wheeled chay, / His liveries too, buff and green.|
|Melbourne Punch 20 Nov. 3/2: Boss —Noun. A cove, a beak, a guvnor, a nob, an old ’un, a big-wig etc.|
|‘Sunday Trading Bill’ in Curiosities of Street Lit. (1871) 115: The nobs may call at the pastry shops.|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor II 56/1: There’s not any public dog-fights [...] but there’s a good deal of it, I know, at the private houses of the nobs.|
|Wilds of London (1881) 350: It ain’t like a district where nobs and swells lives.|
|Robbery Under Arms (1922) 216: So George was hail-fellow-well-met with all the swells at the camp [...] all the nobs there were at the Turon.|
|Boys Of The Empire 24 Aug. 368: One For His Nobbs.|
|[perf. Marie Lloyd] G’arn Away [lyrics] Once a chap walked me out as was considered quite a nob.|
|Spoilers 7: I’ve seen myself a size bigger ’n life, sittin’ wi’ the nobs an’ tits in Rotten Row.|
|Strictly Business (1915) 238: She was expected to sell worthless articles to nobs and snobs at exorbitant prices.‘Girl and the Habit’ in|
|Good Companions 222: The nobs have arrived [...] They won’t come to tea, they’re too grand.|
|Foveaux 224: If the ‘nobs’ on the Council thought the place ought to be pulled down, it must be worse than they thought.|
|Phenomena in Crime 171: ‘Mug’ [...] would wander among the ‘nobs’.|
|Come in Spinner (1960) 314: All he needed now was a few decent clothes [...] and he could go anywhere among the bloody nobs.|
|Guntz 15: I was delivering to all the nobs around Mayfair.|
|Sun. Times Mag. 12 Oct. 25: You can’t tell the little guys they’ve got to turn it in, when they see what the nobs are doing.|
|Down and Out 162: All the big nobs stay here, you know.|
|Déjàvu Act I: I’m the one the nobs would like to kill.|
|Indep. on Sun. 23 Jan. 10: Most of the race-goers aren’t nobs.|
2. (Aus.) an expert [from sense 1].
|Bell’s Life in London 23 Dec. 2/5: At Tom Belcher’s a meeting was held of the nobs of the Ring, who in fighting excell’d.|
|Moods of Ginger Mick 85: So I tries to buck ’im up a bit; to go fer Abdul’s fez; / An’ I ain’t no nob at litrachure; but this is wot I sez.‘A Letter to the Front’ in|
|Guardian 11 Jan. 18: Scuffing his heels outside Stratford station with the rest of the New Labour nobbery.|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
to give oneself airs.
|Deacon Brodie II tab. IV viii: Don’t you get coming the nob over me, Mr. Deacon Brodie, or I’ll smash you.|
|Card (1974) 63: I wasn’t going to have Fearns coming the duke over me!|
|(con. 1830s–60s) All That Swagger 209: You see, old Rawson tries to come the nabob.|
(UK Und.) to pose as an aristocrat to defraud tradesmen.
|New and Improved Flash Dict.|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 7 Feb. 1/1: An extremely high-nob newspaper man of Perth has heard bad news from New Zealand.|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 122: Let nobs in the fur trade hold their jaw, / And let the jug be free.‘House Breaker’s Song’ in Farmer|
|Sl. and Its Analogues.|
(UK Und.) to use brains rather than brawn to succeed in the world.
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang. in McLachlan (1964) 254: nob it: to act with such prudence and knowledge of the world, as to prosper and become independent without any labour or bodily exertion; this is termed nobbing it, or fighting nob work. To effect any purpose, or obtain any thing, by means of good judgment and sagacity, is called nobbing it for such a thing.|
|Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1812].|
|Emigrant Family I 194: The Welshman nobs it up well .|
the Houses of Parliament.
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc.|