from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small headless nail used in making shoes (especially the heels)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of small nail used by shoemakers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A kind of headless nail used for the soles and heels of coarse boots and shoes.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Saw also the slippers which the worshippers of Mars put upon their martial feet when they enter into his temple -- slippers without a suspicion of shod, hob nail or sparable, with which the heels of the worshippers of Ceres in this country are armed.

    The Letters of "Norah" on Her Tour Through Ireland


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  • Oroboros, I missed your comment earlier, but I've heard that a few bird species are attracted to the nuts and seeds of Chinquapin bushes. See what the local experts say. :-)

    October 18, 2007

  • Reesetee: yes, berries, but which berries. I'm at 7000 ft. and the only berries around I'm aware of are on Chinquapin bushes which are beastly spiked things. And I've never seen any bluebirds worrying Chinquapin bushes. I guess I need to pay a visit to my friendly local Ranger Station experts.

    October 15, 2007

  • It's truly a quandary. :-)

    October 15, 2007

  • Oh, reesetee, I know! I know! If only I had enough time to be truly dedicated to all of my addictions. ;)

    October 15, 2007

  • Trivet, I love watching crows! Very smart critters, they are.

    October 15, 2007

  • Oroboros, you too? :-D That does it--I'm coming over. Of all the birds you mentioned, I've "listed" only the Flickers, Robins, and Nuthatches. Oh, wait--and Mountain Chickadees. Of course, it's probably because few of the other species are seen in the eastern U.S. :-)

    Rocks, I believe you're now in the throes of becoming a double addict. In its own way, birding is as enticing as Wordie, if you ask me. (John, that's a high compliment to Wordie.) Sounds like you have a nice little mini-habitat going there, too.

    Oh, and, bird droppings...are likely to come from berries.

    October 15, 2007

  • I wish I had such nice birds to watch - crows and jays, mostly. Though I do enjoy the raucous banter...

    October 15, 2007

  • I see the White-headed Woodpecker every now and then, and various sapsuckers but only when I'm out and about. When I'm thrice-blessed I get to see a Green-tailed Towhee (only a handful of times in 20 years!). Flickers however, come to the bath, as do Robins, Steller's Jays, Lesser Goldfinches, Nuthatches (red and white breasted) and some others I can't think of at the moment. The bluebirds are BIG bathers. And always, at this time of the year, they feed on some fruit that causes them to leave big gelatinous poops everywhere and I have to clean the birdbath more frequently. Wish I knew what plant it was that attracts them in the fall.

    October 15, 2007

  • I'm jealous, oroboros. I haven't seen any bluebirds in my yard yet. They are a favorite. I've been having a blast watching woodpeckers, though. So far I've counted four kinds: Red-bellied, Northern Flicker, Downy, Yellow Bellied Sapsucker.

    October 15, 2007

  • I am (forgive the pun) a fledgling bird watcher. We moved into a new neighborhood about a year and a half ago which is near a marsh, a wooded conservation area, and the shoreline of a small lake. Add to that a nice variety of mature trees, both deciduous and evergreen, and you get birds. Lots of them. It's wonderful. I'm slowly turning our front yard into an native open woodland with an emphasis on fruit and nut-bearing trees and shrubs.

    October 15, 2007

  • You didn't ask me, but yes, me too! In fact I'm watching a flock of Western Bluebirds alternate with a bunch of Acorn Woodpeckers at the birdbath right outside the window, as I read and add my own comments on Wordie. Goes on all day long that way. Mountain Chickadees are other ubiquitous bathers and drinkers...

    Never get tired of watching 'em.

    October 15, 2007

  • Oh, you noticed? ;-) Yes, I do birdwatch, whenever I can. And I have an inordinate number of birding books stacked on my bookshelves, pleading to be read. Do you birdwatch also?

    October 15, 2007

  • Ah, thank you, seanahan.

    Reesetee, I've noticed you have a thing for bird words. :) Do you bird-watch, too?

    October 14, 2007

  • Hey Rocksinmypockets, you can add the part of speech information after adding the word by clicking "add tags/pos".

    October 14, 2007

  • Oooh, cool! Thanks, rocks!

    October 14, 2007

  • 1. A small headless nail that is used in the manufacture and mending of soles and heels of shoes and boots.

    Etymology: 17c: a reduced form of sparrow-bill, so called because of the resemblance of the nail to the shape of a sparrow's beak.

    October 14, 2007