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A Köbes.

Köbes is a word from the Rhineland from local Ripuarian and Limburgish-Bergisch languages.

Meanings[change | change source]

It has two meanings:

  1. Literally, it is a translation of the name Jacob
  2. Informally, it usually means a specialized type of waiter.

Informal meaning[change | change source]

A Köbes is the waiter who serves the Kölsch beer in Cologne or who serves the Alt beer of Düsseldorf and Krefeld.

One finds him only in brewery outlets and some specialized pubs.

Appearance[change | change source]

Traditionally, a Köbes is dressed in blue, with a big leather belt and leather purse. If a guest sits down, the Köbes supplies beer, there is no order required. A Köbes continually replaces every empty glass with a full one, usually without asking. One must ask for the bill, or cover the glass, if you do not want more beer.

Expect Köbes to engage in short conversations or occasionally to tell, or make, jokes. Everyone can be subject of such jokes, the Köbes himself, his customers or other guests. If a Köbes includes them in jokes they do not hesitate to joke back on him.

Books[change | change source]

  • Michael Scuffil: Drink doch ene mit! Der kölsche Köbes, published by Verlag Emons in Cologne, Edition 1, April 2007, 47 pages, in five languages, hardbound, ISBN 978-3-89705-505-6