1. a person who mends shoes.
  2. a deep-dish fruit pie with a rich biscuit crust, usually only on top.
  3. an iced drink made of wine or liquor, fruits, sugar, etc.
  4. a fabric rejected because of defective dyeing or finishing.
  5. a mummichog.
  6. Archaic. a clumsy workman.

Origin of cobbler

1250–1300; Middle English cobelere, equivalent to cobel (< ?) + -ere -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cobblers


Examples from the Web for cobblers

Historical Examples of cobblers

British Dictionary definitions for cobblers


pl n
  1. rubbish; nonsensea load of old cobblers
  2. another word for testiclesSee testicle
  1. an exclamation of strong disagreement

Word Origin for cobblers

C20: from rhyming slang cobblers' awls balls


The use of cobblers meaning "nonsense" is so mild that hardly anyone these days is likely to be offended by it. Most people are probably unaware of its rhyming-slang association with ``balls'', and therefore take it at its face value as a more colourful synonym for ``nonsense''. The classic formulation "a load of (old) cobblers" seems to be particularly popular in the tabloid press


  1. a person who makes or mends shoes

Word Origin for cobbler

C13 (as surname): of unknown origin


  1. a sweetened iced drink, usually made from fruit and wine or liqueur
  2. mainly US a hot dessert made of fruit covered with a rich cakelike crust

Word Origin for cobbler

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

Word Origin and History for cobblers



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

Idioms and Phrases with cobblers


see stick to one's last.

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