hobnail [hob-neyl] ExamplesWord Origin noun
- a large-headed nail for protecting the soles of heavy boots and shoes.
- a small allover pattern consisting of small tufts, as on fabrics, or of small studs, as on glass.
It was from no less a person than Mr Hobnail, who had taken a great fancy to him.
We are conjurors, young Hobnail, said the gentlemen, laughing.
Hobnail cutting, late 1830, so often confused with diamond cutting.
Strawberry cutting, so often confused with hobnail cutting; much used from 1780.
It is also called in England gin-drinker’s liver, hobnail liver.
British Dictionary definitions for hobnail hobnail noun
- a short nail with a large head for protecting the soles of heavy footwear
- (as modifier)hobnail boots
Derived Formshobnailed, adjectiveWord Origin for hobnail C16: from hob 1 (in the archaic sense: peg) + nail Word Origin and History for hobnail n.
1590s, the first element probably identical with hob “rounded peg or pin used as a mark or target in games” (1580s), of unknown origin. See hob. Because they were used to make rough shoes, the word was used figuratively for “rustic person” 17c. and after. Related: Hobnailed.