Nob

Origin of: Nob

Nob

Slang for one’s head since the late 17th/early 18th century. By the mid-1700s, it was also slang for a person of wealth or importance. The etymology is unknown although some maintain that it is an abbreviation of noble or nobility. This might explain the slang for a person of wealth or importance but is less convincing in explaining the association with head. ‘One for his nob’ in the card game of cribbage denotes a score of one point for holding the knave or jack of the same suit as the turn-up card and derives from the same meaning of head. ‘Two for his heels’ is the cribbage term for two points when the turn-up card itself is a jack. The use of nob and heels in this context stems from the days when the illustrations on royal cards were not reversible and had both heads and heels. Playing cards with non-reversible illustrations were still being produced well into the 19th century.