In popular superstition, the name given to a subordinate demon who infested people. A certain Sarah Williams, one of the possessed, stated the had often heard such a being spoken of jestingly when she was a child. Hoberdidance, she said, used his cunning to make a lady laugh. It appears in Hasnet's Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures (1603) as the name of a devil, and Shakespeare adopted the name as Hobbididance and also as Hopdance. The original form may have been Hob of the dance, then Hob o' the dance. See Hob.



  • Hunter, J. (1845). New illustrations of the life, studies, and writings of Shakespeare. London: J.B. Nichols and Son, p. 268.
  • Scott, C.P.G. (1895). "The Devil and His Imps: An Etymological Inquisition." In Transactions of the American Philological Association. Vol. 26. Boston: Ginn & Co., p. 109.