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"SIMPLY, a Dabber is someone born within the town's ancient boundaries."

The meaning behind the phrase 'Dabber' is widely debated amongst locals. Although it refers to somebody born within Nantwich town, we're interested in the etymology behind the term. What is a Dabber? What does it refer to?

"Dab. (v) early 14c., dabben "to strike," of unknown origin, perhaps imitative. Compare Old Norse dabba "to tap, slap." Modern sense of "strike gently with the hand, strike with a slight, quick pressure" developed by mid-16c., influenced by French dauber"

Here are some of the theories we have come across:

  • Dabbing salt on the tongue, from the town's historic bring industry.

  • A link to Nantwich town's tannery history.

  • A reference to the physical act of dabbing glue onto a shoe during its manufacture.

  • A reference to wattle and daub - a building method once used for the early versions of the Tudor and Georgian buildings seen around the town.

We are fans of the wattle and daub theory, linking to the etymology description above.

We wanted to represent all of the theories, and the divide of opinion, on our label design for Dabber's Gin.

Wattle and Daub.jpg
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