One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A flat-bottomed fishing boat of a type used in Scotland and NE England.
- ‘At night the woman would feel stabs of fear as she thought of the tossing coble where her man was earning a living for them.’
- ‘We have reached the waterside where a fishing coble is moored to the bank.’
- ‘The 88-year-old coble, a flat-bottomed fishing boat, had survived a direct hit by a stick bomb in 1943, which went right through her hull.’
- ‘In the 1820s there were 130 fishermen sailing 35 cobles and five large herring boats.’
- ‘The dock was famous the world over in drawings and paintings of the village when it was filled with brown-sailed fishing cobles.’
Old English, perhaps of Celtic origin and related to Welsh ceubal ‘ferry boat, skiff’.
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