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Definition of 'cob' in Dictionary of Word Origins

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Initial post: 7 Mar 2011 08:58:04 GMT
I was browsing an old copy of this excellent book yesterday and came upon the word 'cob', which Mr Ayto suggests points back to an original 'head, or something similarly rounded' (cobnuts and cobloaves, for example, are rounded, and the male swan is the 'chief' or leader.)' Might I suggest that it was not its role as 'chief' or 'leader' that was hinted at by the use of the word 'cob' for the male bird, but the round, black lump that sits above its bill. This would make its use absolutely in line with the two other examples he cites, rather than the tenuous 'leader' definition.
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Discussion in:  John Ayto forum
Participants:  1
Total posts:  1
Initial post:  7 Mar 2011
Latest post:  7 Mar 2011

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