So with nothing better to do I chased one of the other references to Cob ie A Horse and found this. Not definitive but it fits
A "cob" is a generic term for a type of (UK) native breed horse.
They were the common workhorse in Victorian Britain, pulling delivery carts, canal barges and so on. When they work, they sweat, so "sweating like a cob" means sweating like a workhorse. This form of the saying still gets used, certainly in Yorkshire.
It is but a short linguistic hop from that to "sweating cobs", so I would suggest that this is the most likely origin.
Message Thread | This response ↓
« Back to index | View thread »