Rubber meaning sporting match
Posted: 25 July 2013 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Do youse have any clues about the origin of “rubber” meaning sporting match? Any wild-bottom speculation?

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Posted: 25 July 2013 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’ve never run into that sense of “rubber” before. 

Dictionary.com, in word origin & history, notes that rubber, in the sense of “‘deciding match’ in a game or contest,” dates to 1599, is of unknown origin, and is perhaps an entirely unrelated word.  That sounds similar to the sense you are talking about, although it doesn’t specifically say “sporting match”, and its not clear to me if the “sporting” sense carries with it a sense of being the decisive game in a series.

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Posted: 25 July 2013 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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See this old thread.

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Posted: 26 July 2013 02:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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My parents tried (unsuccessfully) to teach me to play bridge with them as a child, and I’ve always known the term in relation to that game. A rubber at bridge is roughly the equivalent of a match in tennis - it consists of more than one game, just as a tennis match consists of more than one set. I always assumed that the sense had been exported to sporting activities, and am really surprised to find that it appears to be the other way round.

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