from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A worker in cordwain or cordovan leather; hence, a worker in leather of any kind; a shoemaker.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Archaic. A worker in cordwain, or cordovan leather; a shoemaker.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a shoemaker
  • noun a worker in cordwain, a leather from Córdoba.
  • noun a member of the Cordwainers livery company


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

from cordovan, Córdova being a Spanish town.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • (Archaic) A worker in cordwain, or cordovan leather; a shoemaker.

    July 20, 2007

  • "So they went into England, and went as far as Hereford; and they betook themselves to making shoes. And he began by buying the best cordwain that could be had in the town, and none other would buy. And he associated himself with the best goldsmith in the town, and caused him to make clasps for the shoes, and to gild the clasps; and he marked how it was done until he learned the method. And therefore is he called one of the three makers of gold shoes. And when they could be had from him, not a shoe nor hose was bought of any of the cordwainers in the town. But when the cordwainers perceived that their gains were failing (for as Manawyddan shaped the work, so Kicva stitched it), they came together and took counsel, and agreed that they would slay them. And he had warning thereof, and it was told him how the cordwainers had agreed together to slay him."

    - Thomas Bulfinch, 'Age of Fable'.

    September 19, 2009

  • This word is used in the pseudonym of Cordwainer Smith, the wonderful science fiction author.

    September 8, 2010

  • "Now was Rusty a childish Binelli-issued nickname for his redheaded sister, or was it a reference to the scavenged nail that poked one or the other young cordwainer in the big toe and began a period of infectious infirmary that would lead to the necessity of finding a crafty activity to fill the long hours of bedridden days, an activity of which the children failed to tire, though strength returned; no by god, they never tired of this, the smell of leather, the meticulous stitching, the shodding of the people, the heady glamour, the creative juices stirring within pent-up loins, loins that hungered for the tickle of a stray red wisp tossed carelessly past a hollowed cheek—well, it is all conjecture and as such not for this report to contemplate. Shoes were made, many shoes."

    Orion You Came and You Took All My Marbles by Kira Henehan, p 48

    February 28, 2011

  • The Worshipful Company of Cordwainers is one of London's livery companies, around since 1272. You can follow them on Twitter @Cordwainers. Cordovan, the fine leather from Córdoba in Andalusia, cordwain from cordovan. Fine leathery livery.

    October 3, 2013