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Why A Keyless Entry Remote Transmitter Is Called A Fob Or Key Fob?

The earliest related meaning is recorded in 1653. A fob was a small pocket for valuables. By the late 1800s and early 1900s a fob had a dual meaning as the pocket used for a pocket watch as well as for any ornament hanging from the chain of a pocket watch. By the mid-1900s a fob was any ornament that hangs on a keychain. When automobiles were sold sometimes the dealer provided an ornament on the key chain (for example a Cadillac emblem.) Sometime during the early 1980s, when remote keyless entry systems started to gain popularity, new and used car dealers started to call the remote transmitter a fob. The terms fob and keyfob remain most popular among car dealers and mechanics to this day. However, usage of these terms today is hardly limited to people in the automotive industry.

A common misconception is that fob is an acronym (F.O.B.) which stands for Free On Board. That acronym is used in commerce to mean that goods don’t have to be paid for at the time of shipment. However, that term is only coincidentally similar. It is not an acronym when describing the automotive parts called Keyless Entry Remote Transmitters (a.k.a. Keyfobs or Remotes.)

Below are common incorrect terms used to describe keyless remotes which we hear regularly. Some are pretty silly: clicker, pad, keypad, key, key remote, remote key, buttons, fab, alarm, starter, and car starter. Also, some people do not recognize it has a name and they call it “the thing that opens the doors.”

Here, at Remotes And Keys, we like to call it simply a Remote.

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Why A Keyless Entry Remote Transmitter Is Called A Fob Or Key Fob?
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