Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Hobson's Choice

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

HOBSON'S CHOICE (R8x32) 3C (4C set) Bill Forbes Craigievar Book 4

1- 8 1s cross, cast and dance RH across (1M with 2s and 1L with 3s)
9-16 1s dance RSh reels of 3 across (1L with 2s and 1M with 3s) 1s end with ½ RH turn to BtoB Man facing up and Lady down
17-24 2s+3s dance R&L (starting on sides) while 1s dance RSh round 2nd corner (pstn), turn LH and dance LSh round 1st corner to 2nd place opposite side
25-32 2s+1s+3s set, 1s petronella turn into lines across, set and 1s petronella turn to 2nd place own sides

(MINICRIB, Dance Crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


Dance Information

A Hobson's choice is a free choice in which only one option is offered. As a person may refuse to take that option the choice is therefore between taking the option or not; "take it or leave it".

The phrase is said to originate from Thomas Hobson (1544-1631), a livery stable owner at Cambridge, England. To rotate the use of his horses he offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall nearest the door or taking none at all.

Thomas Hobson Image
Thomas Hobson - Originator of Hobson's Choice


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