Word Origin & History
1611, from M.Fr. tube (1460), from L. tubus "tube, pipe," of unknown origin. The London subway was christened the Twopenny Tube before it even opened (H.D. Browne, in the "Londoner" of June 30, 1900); tube for "cylindrical railway tunnel" is attested from 1847. The meaning "TV as a medium" is from 1959,
short for cathode ray tube or picture tube. Tube top as a women's clothing style is attested from 1972. Tubular is attested from 1673, "having the form of a tube or pipe," but the modern slang sense is from 1982, Valspeak, from surfers' slang for a hollow, curling wave, ideal for riding. Tube steak is attested from 1963 as "frankfurter," slang meaning "penis" is recorded by mid-1980s. Tubing as a recreational pastime is recorded from 1975.