hob-nob drink together XVIII; be on familiar terms XIX. orig. hob or nob, hob-a-nob, hob and nob, f. phr. (drink) hob or nob, etc., drink to one another alternately; continuing earlier hab (or) nab (XVI) get or lose, hit or miss, repr. some part of HAVE and its negative (OE. habban and nabban).
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