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[kob-ler] /ˈkɒb lər/
a person who mends shoes.
a deep-dish fruit pie with a rich biscuit crust, usually only on top.
an iced drink made of wine or liquor, fruits, sugar, etc.
a fabric rejected because of defective dyeing or finishing.
a mummichog.
Archaic. a clumsy workman.
Origin of cobbler
1250-1300; Middle English cobelere, equivalent to cobel (< ?) + -ere -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for cobbler
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Ill go all the same, said the cobbler, and without saying a word more he goes out and begins to make ready for his journey.

    Folk-lore and legends: English Charles John Tibbits
  • If he had only been a cobbler's son, a tailor's, a barber's!

    An Australian Lassie Lilian Turner
  • Another of the whims of “cobbler” Horn was his fondness for doing what his sister called “common” work.

    The Golden Shoemaker J. W. Keyworth
  • The cobbler knew nothing of the mine, but he held the scrip.

    A Boy's Voyage Round the World The Son of Samuel Smiles
  • Then he filled the glass again and carried it carefully across the street to his friend the cobbler.

  • The cobbler and the dog being both my particular friends I complied.

  • Hitherto she has put on no airs with me, for I know the family traditions, and that her excellent father began life as a cobbler.

    The Champagne Standard Mrs. John Lane
  • A philosopher can be anything he pleases, a cobbler, a king, or a physician.

    The Bravo of Venice Heinrich Zschokke
British Dictionary definitions for cobbler


a person who makes or mends shoes
Word Origin
C13 (as surname): of unknown origin


a sweetened iced drink, usually made from fruit and wine or liqueur
(mainly US) a hot dessert made of fruit covered with a rich cakelike crust
Word Origin
C19: (for sense 1) perhaps shortened from cobbler's punch; (for both senses) compare cobble (vb)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cobbler

late 13c., cobelere "one who mends shoes," of uncertain origin. It and cobble (v.) "evidently go together etymologically" [OED], but the historical record presents some difficulties. "The cobbler should stick to his last" (ne sutor ultra crepidam) is from the anecdote of Greek painter Apelles.

On one occasion a cobbler noticed a fault in the painting of a shoe, and remarking upon it to a person standing by, passed on. As soon as the man was out of sight Apelles came from his hiding-place, examined the painting, found that the cobbler's criticism was just, and at once corrected the error. ... The cobbler came by again and soon discovered that the fault he had pointed out had been remedied; and, emboldened by the success of his criticism, began to express his opinion pretty freely about the painting of the leg! This was too much for the patience of the artist, who rushed from his hiding place and told the cobbler to stick to his shoes. [William Edward Winks, "Lives of Illustrious Shoemakers," London, 1883]
[The quote is variously reported: Pliny ("Natural History" XXXV.x.36) has ne supra crepidam judicaret, while Valerius Maximus (VIII.xiii.3) gives supra plantam ascendere vetuit.]

"deep-dish fruit pie," 1859, American English, perhaps related to 14c. cobeler "wooden bowl."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with cobbler


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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