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[ruhb-uh-duhb] /ˈrʌb əˌdʌb/
the sound of a drum when beaten.
Origin of rub-a-dub
First recorded in 1780-90; imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rub-a-dub
Historical Examples
  • Wolf gave a grunt like one of his pigs, and began his song of "rub-a-dub."

    The Gold Thread Norman MacLeod
  • And then we made a rub-a-dub on a goat-skin drum, which was hanging on a stump for visitors.

    Dariel R. D. Blackmore
  • "rub-a-dub is to be buried exactly at eleven o'clock," said Iris.

  • And away he ran among the trees in search of his pigs, while Eric heard his little drum, and his song of "rub-a-dub, halloo!"

    The Gold Thread Norman MacLeod
  • A little French drummer, singing to his rub-a-dub, and the agreeable yell of a dog, complete the vocal performers.

  • Swinton, his ear tuned to the outer distances of the void, caught a soft faint rub-a-dub, rub-a-dub!

    The Three Sapphires W. A. Fraser
  • No dictionary in my possession has rub-a-dub; by and by the lexicographer will admit this, as yet, half-wild word.

  • "That would not be rub-a-dub," she said; then she buried her little, fat face on his shoulder and sobs shook her frame.

  • She did not wish to be interrupted now; she wanted to find Iris to tell her of the sad fate of rub-a-dub.

  • Ever and anon you hear the rub-a-dub of the drums, as new detachments pass on towards the Corso.

    Rome in 1860 Edward Dicey
Word Origin and History for rub-a-dub

1787, echoic of the sound of a drum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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