Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A horse, especially a working farm horse.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A common English name for a work-horse.

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

  • noun An old jaded horse.
  • noun Prov. Eng. Sea gravel mixed with sand.

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

  • noun An old jaded horse.
  • noun UK, dialect Sea gravel mixed with sand.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a quiet plodding workhorse

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Dobbin, alteration of Robin, nickname for Robert.]

Examples

  • He's not where near a laidback 'dobbin' and you still have to ride quietly (he'll never be suitable for a novice for that reason - he takes everything literally) but he's not verging on dangerous anymore.

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  • “Does he live there?” asks the black bonnet of the gray coat; and the hard-featured farmer reins up his grateful dobbin to inquire what you are doing where he sees no manure in the furrow, and recommends a little chip dirt, or any little waste stuff, or it may be ashes or plaster.

    Walden

  • The tale of how He coming unexpectedly home found Him with Her was then put through its paces with such skilful jockeying that not one in ten would know it for the same dobbin so lately brought limping to the light.

    The Henchman

  • Well, sah, if you'll b'lieve me, he jes 'shuck his head, dat painter did, en went on a-dobbin'.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad

  • An 'if you'll b'lieve it, she won't talk picters nor make any sence she got back -- only, jest after she got back, she said she didn't see any use o' her goin 'on dobbin' good canvas up with good paint, an 'makin' nothin 'but poor picters; an' she cried some ....

    Aladdin & Co. A Romance of Yankee Magic

  • The meal was put in the wagon, the horse unhitched, the wagon mounted, the goad picked up and a thrust made, but dobbin was in no hurry.

    A Study Of Hawthorne

  • The meal was put in the wagon, the horse unhitched, the wagon mounted, the goad picked up and a thrust made, but dobbin was in no hurry.

    A Study of Hawthorne

  • Well, sah, if you'll b'lieve me, he jes 'shuck his head, dat painter did, en went on a-dobbin'.

    Tom Sawyer Abroad

  • "Does he live there?" asks the black bonnet of the gray coat; and the hard-featured farmer reins up his grateful dobbin to inquire what you are doing where he sees no manure in the furrow, and recommends a little chip dirt, or any little waste stuff, or it may be ashes or plaster.

    Walden~ Chapter 07 (historical)

  • "Does he live there?" asks the black bonnet of the gray coat; and the hard-featured farmer reins up his grateful dobbin to inquire what you are doing where he sees no manure in the furrow, and recommends a little chip dirt, or any little waste stuff, or it may be ashes or plaster.

    Walden, or Life in the woods

Comments

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  • According to time-honored rules
    Some workers are known by their tools:
    The seamstress her bobbin
    The plowman his dobbin
    And kings by admiring fools.

    January 31, 2014