Humping a Grouse Cobber
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When I arrived in Adelaide in the 1970s, they were called 'cobbers'. Those small, chocolate covered squares of hard caramel now go by the name 'mates'. The word 'mate' has nudged ahead of 'cobber' in popularity, probably since the republican debate in the 1990s when 'mateship' was widely discussed as a proposed term for inclusion in the Constitution of Australia. By the time of the republican debate, the word 'cobber' had been in print for just over one hundred years. Appearing first in the 'Worker' in Sydney in 1893, it points to a rural origin. This article discusses the origins of the word 'cobber'.