"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.
1807, "a driving stroke made with the arms in full swing," perhaps a dialectal variant of sweep, or in part from obsolete swip "a stroke, blow" (c.1200), from P.Gmc. *swip-, related to O.E. swipu "a stick, whip." Other possible sources or influences are M.E. swope "to sweep with broad movements" (in
ref. to brooms, swords, etc.), from O.E. swapan; obsolete swaip "stroke, blow;" or obsolete swape "oar, pole." The verb is from 1825. The slang sense of "steal, pilfer" appeared 1889, Amer.Eng., said originally to be theatrical jargon for performers stealing jokes or stage routines from one another. Meaning "run a credit card" is 1990s.