Fobbed off


      • Deceive or mislead someone
        Trick or deceive someone into believing something that is not true, often to get them to leave or stop bothering the speaker

      • To give someone an unimportant or trivial task
        Assign a seemingly important or useful task to someone, but in reality, it is not significant or necessary

      • To postpone or delay something
        Put off or delay an action or decision by giving excuses or false promises to avoid facing the issue at hand

    Examples of Fobbed off

    • The customer was fobbed off by the salesperson who promised to call back but never did.

      In this example, the idiom "fobbed off" is used as a verb, meaning that the salesperson dismissed the customer's request or concerns without providing a satisfactory solution. The customer was left feeling ignored or misled.

    • The manager fobbed off the employee's complaint by saying that it would be looked into, but nothing was ever done about it.

      Here, the idiom is used as a form of intransitive verb – the action is being performed on the subject (in this case, the manager) rather than an object. The manager effectively brushed off the employee's complaint and didn't take any meaningful action to address it.

    • The doctor fobbed off my symptoms by prescribing some painkillers and sending me on my way.

      In this example, the idiom is used as a verb, but in this instance, it's followed by a preposition (off). The doctor essentially dismissed the patient's symptoms by using a quick and easy fix rather than investigating the root cause of the issue.

    • The President fobbed off the media's questions by promising to look into the matter further.

      Here, the idiom is used as a verb, but instead of dismissing the media's questions outright, the President took a more diplomatic approach by promising to investigate the issue further. This could be interpreted as the President acknowledging the seriousness of the matter, but ultimately not providing a definitive answer at that time.

    • The salesperson fobbed me off when I asked about the product's warranty.

      Instead of providing clear and detailed information about the warranty, the salesperson gave me vague or misleading responses, ultimately discouraging me from making a purchase. This is often done as a way to avoid addressing a customer's concerns or questions.

    • My doctor fobbed me off when I complained about my symptoms, claiming they were just a random occurrence.

      Instead of taking my symptoms seriously and investigating further, the doctor dismissed them as insignificant or unrelated to any underlying health issues. This can be frustrating for patients who are seeking medical care and expertise.

    • The customer service representative fobbed me off by giving me a generic response that didn't address my specific issue.

      Rather than offering a tailored solution to my problem, the representative provided a generic response that didn't offer any concrete solutions or helpful information. This can lead to continued frustration for the customer and a lack of satisfaction with the company's customer service provisions.

    • My boss fobbed me off when I asked for more resources to complete a project, claiming there weren't any available.

      Instead of exploring alternative solutions or providing additional support, the boss dismissed my request outright. This can be demoralizing for employees who are striving to complete their work to the best of their abilities.


    The idiom "fobbed off" is typically used to describe situations where someone is tricked, deceived, or given an unimportant task. It can also refer to postponing or delaying something by making excuses or false promises. In all these uses, the intention behind the idiom is to avoid facing a difficult or unwanted situation.

    In the first meaning, the idiom is used to describe situations where someone is deliberately misled or deceived. This can be done to get rid of someone who is bothering the speaker or to avoid taking responsibility for something. In the second meaning, "fobbed off" is used to describe tasks that are given to someone as a way to distract them or give them a false sense of importance. Lastly, the idiom can also be used to describe situations where someone is avoiding dealing with a problem by delaying it through excuses or false promises.

    Origin of "Fobbed off"

    The origin of the idiom "fobbed off" can be traced back to the 16th century, where the word "fob" was used to describe a small pocket or pouch. This pocket was often used to store valuables or small items. However, in the 18th century, the word "fob" also came to be used as a verb, meaning "to trick" or "to cheat." This likely gave rise to the idiom "fobbed off," which means to deceive or cheat someone.

    Another theory suggests that the idiom may have originated from the practice of giving someone a fake or inferior item instead of the real one. This could have been done to avoid giving away the valuable item or to trick the recipient into thinking they received the real thing.

    In any case, the idiom "fobbed off" has evolved to be used in a variety of contexts, all with the underlying meaning of deception or avoidance.