I'm trying to find a well-known person who was/is famous for not allowing any choices. Eg, Henry Ford going "you can have any color as long as it's black."

Ideas welcome!

  • 1
    Despite my answer below, I don't think you're going to find an example more famous than Henry Ford's.
    – Paul Drye
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 18:19
  • 1
    @PaulDrye - However, Ford is remembered for many things, while Hobson is only remembered for his "choice".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 18:26
  • 6
    Interestingly, as long as there's only one answer to this question, your choice of answers to accept is a Hobson's choice.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 18:46
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about identifying a historical figure, as opposed to the English language itself.
    – choster
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 18:54
  • It's a stretch, but Procrustes might fit the bed.
    – JEL
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 5:59

1 Answer 1


Lack of a real option is called "Hobson's choice", and is supposedly named after a real person, Thomas Hobson.

The term "Hobson's choice" originated in the mid-seventeenth century, after Hobson's death. The poet John Milton made Hobson, and the phrase, well known, by satirising him several times in mock epitaphs

  • 2
    "Hobson's choice" isn't no choice at all, but rather a choice between "take it or leave it". To take the apocryphal Henry Ford example, your choices are to have a black Model-T, or to not have a (black) Model-T. Not sure if this is what the OQ was asking for or not. Up to them I guess.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 18:41

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