Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Medieval Word Wednesday - Cobbler versus Shoemaker

Contrary to my previous understanding, a cobbler in medieval times did not make shoes. According to The Scriptorium (, a cobbler was "a repairer of footwear as opposed to a maker of footwear."

I suppose shoemakers made shoes. Unless you wanted really fine shoes.

Then you would seek out a cordwainer. They were makers "of fine shoes using soft Cordovan leather." I was surprised to discover that Cordovan leather is made from horses. Not the horses' hides, but a specific muscle in their hindquarters.

I always thought that leather came from animal hides, not their muscles.

Knowing where they came from, 
would you seek out a cordwainer to purchase his wares?

No comments: