cobber n : Australian term for a pal
EtymologyAustralian goldfields produced a lot of clay-based spoil as the pits were dug. This was often used as building material, making unformed (usually red) mud cob huts. It is proposed without proof that this is probably the derivation of the term..
- Rhymes: -ɒbə(r)
- Polish: stary
Mate is a colloquialism used to refer to a friend and is commonly used in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland. It is or has been used interchangeably with many equivalent terms, such as buddy (originally United States/Canada but now used more widely) or cobber (Australian/New Zealand only - originally derived from Yiddish, now rare).
OriginMate is a colloquialism with sketchy origins, although it is theorised that it started with use by dock workers in the Victorian era. It might also be derived from the Dutch word "maat" which means the same as mate in English.
In Australasia, the use of "mate" and the subsequent concept of "mateship", conceptualised a widespread egalitarian ethos, especially among working class white males.