Hobson's Choice - An apparently free choice that actually offers no alternative or is no choice at all. In other words, the choice of taking what is offered or nothing at all.
How some people get immortalized by just being plain eccentric is proved by the origin of this phrase. Thomas Hobson (1544-1630) was the keeper of a livery stable who ran a thriving carrier and horse rental business in Cambridge, England and in order to rotate the use of his horses, allowed customers to take only the horse nearest the stable door. It's like, the horse nearest the stable door or none. Take it or leave it???
The first known written usage of this phrase is in Joseph Addison's paper "The Spectator" (1712) though it also appears in Thomas Ward's 1688 poem "England's Reformation", not published until after Ward's death (1708). Ward wrote,
"Where to elect there is but one,
'tis Hobson's choice—take that, or none."
Trivia: Henry Ford was said to have sold the Ford Model T with the famous Hobson's choice of "... any colour ... so long as it is black"
Sources: www.answers.com, http://www.phrases.org.uk/