Ever wonder how two very different meanings get attached to the same word? Cobbler is a perfect example.

Historically, a cobbler is someone who mends shoes and has been such since the late 1300s. Cobbler and cobble (the verb) seem to have evolved together in English, the verb meaning “to mend or patch together.” So how, you may wonder, did it come to mean a fruit dessert with a heavy top crust in American English?

Well, my theory was that it’s because cobbler is kinda tossed together, cobbled together, one might say… The etymology entry doesn’t bear that out, but it doesn’t have many better ideas, either, LOL. All people can say is that it came from the same root, cob, which has been applied to all sorts of words but always has a sense of “lumpy” or “bumpy” in it somewhere. Hence cobblestones and a cob of corn–all things with bumps and lumps. =) Well, that’s definitely true of the dessert too! And it also makes sense in the shoe sense, in that patches and mends tend to be a bit lumpy and bumpy too.

Are you a fan of fruit cobbler? Or perhaps corn on the cob?

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