I had something discouraging happen recently and, in an attempt to encourage me, my husband told me to “keep my dobbers up” (note: I took a wild stab at the spelling). It’s an expression he’s used a million times since I’ve known him but I never exactly knew what dobbers were. He didn’t either! But, when he was a kid, he heard a sports announcer say a team needed to keep its dobbers up and it entered his vocab that way.
Of course I went to my beloved OED:
The float of an angler’s fishing-line.
Now, I love the expression even more. Next time I feel blue, I’ll imagine myself bobbing on the waves, knowing that no matter how many times I get swept under, I’ll pop back up to the surface.
Plus, it’s hard to say, “keep your dobbers up,” without smiling.