Superficial measures are derived by squaring those of length; and measures of capacity by cubing them.
The squaring and the cubing of numbers are performed by the assistant behind the scenes, with the aid of logarithmic tables.
A class of Mathematicians still continues to publish papers and pamphlets on squaring, cubing, and trisecting.
1550s, from Middle French cube (13c.) and directly from Latin cubus, from Greek kybos "a cube, a six-sided die, vertebra," perhaps from PIE root *keu(b)- "to bend, turn." Mathematical sense is from 1550s in English (it also was in the ancient Greek word: the Greeks threw with three dice; the highest possible roll was three sixes).
1580s in the mathematical sense; 1947 with meaning "cut in cubes," from cube (n.). The Greek verbal derivatives from the noun all referred to dice-throwing and gambling. Related: Cubed; cubing.
By analogy with "tubing", hacking on an IPSC (Intel Personal SuperComputer) hypercube. "Louella's gone cubing *again*!!"