I studied a new English word! Ya mama!
The word is “fob”. Definition in Merriam-Webster:
1 : WATCH POCKET
2 : a short strap, ribbon, or chain attached especially to a pocket watch
3 : an ornament attached to a fob chain
I learnt it from UK’s new airport security measures. It allows “keys (but no electrical key fobs)”. Among other things it means that you can’t take you disk-on-key a.k.a USB flash drive and probably any other USB gadget into the plane cabin.
Several strange things:
- In that sense, fob should have meant “key holder“, but it doesn’t – see above.
- The first two native English speakers that i asked about this whole thing didn’t know what am i talking about. They heard the word “fob” from me for the first time. (They are both Americans, however.)
- The 1947 edition of the Oxford Pocket Dictionary marks this word as “historical”, but the latest Merriam-Webster does not.
- Blogger’s spelling checker recognizes “fob”, but not “fobs”.
- Most importantly: Are these security regulations written for Average Joe Tourist? Or are they intentionally obscure?