One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural dubbinsmass nounBritish
Prepared grease used for softening and waterproofing leather.
- ‘The skin could have an oily substance like tallow (animal fat), egg yolk or dubbin, which is a mixture of fish oil and tallow.’
- ‘The animal fat was used both for cooking and to make tallow for lamps and dubbin.’
- ‘In fact we had such a good weekend we've already booked our next stay, and I'm rubbing dubbin into my walking boots as I write.’
- ‘His comeback black leather jumpsuit has had the requisite dubbin applied.’
- ‘Treat your boots with leather oil or dubbin if you want to keep them supple.’
verbdubbining, dubbined, dubbins[with object]British
Apply dubbin to (leather)‘a player dressed in old baggy shorts and dubbined boots’
- ‘Perhaps they could play a board game or sing songs around a piano while mother gets the tin bath ready in front of the fire for bathtime while father smokes a pipe and dubbins his boots.’
Early 19th century: alteration of dubbing, present participle of dub (sense 3).
Top tips for CV writingRead more
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.