Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma
"Very useful for erasing the strokes of black lead pencils, and is popularly called rubber, and lead-eater." [entry for Caoutchouc in, Howard, "New Royal Encyclopedia," 1788]Meaning "overshoes made of rubber" is 1842, Amer.Eng.; slang sense of "condom" is from 1930s. Sense of "deciding match" in a game or contest is 1599, of unknown origin, and perhaps an entirely separate word. Rubberneck (v.) is attested from 1896. Rubber stamp is from 1881; fig. sense of "institution whose power is formal but not real" is from 1919; the v. in this sense is from 1934. Rubber cement is attested from 1895. Rubber check is from 1927.
To gaze; gape: Don't be rubbering at McCorn (1896+)Related Terms
A professional killer; hit man (1934+ Underworld)