Slang dictionary



What does dub mean?

Dub has many meanings in English. It can variously mean “to nickname” and “to voice a film in a different language.” It can be short for double and the letter W. It can be slang for a marijuana “joint”, or $20 worth of drugs. Dub also refers to a popular genre of music derived from reggae.

Related words

Dubya, one love, starboy, yout, kaya, winner winner chicken dinner, wagwan, anime freak, otaku

Where does dub come from?


Dub, for “to nickname” (1600s) someone, comes from dubbing someone a knight ceremonially with a sword (1100s).


Many other senses emerged over the centuries, including slang for “a fool” and a bad shot in golf, also called a duff.

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Dub was shortened from double in the 1920s. This dubbing is providing another soundtrack to a film, especially in a different language (e.g., a film dubbed into English), or a musical recording (overdubs).


Musical dubbing (doubling a recording or adding tracks) supplied the name of Dub music. Dub stemmed from Jamaican reggae in the 1960s and features remixes of earlier reggae recordings. It influenced a genre of electronic dance music, dubstep, in London in the 1990s, popularized by the musician Skrillex in the 2000s.

Dub for double was slang for $20 (double ten) in the 1940s and for a $20 worth of a drug in the 2010s, as seen in some hip-hop lyrics.

Speaking of drugs, dub has named a cigarette in the 1970s and then a marijuana joint in the 1990s, perhaps as a form of doobie.

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Finally, dub can be short for the letter W, based on its pronunciation. George W. Bush went by Dubya by 2000. Later in the 20th century, dub became slang for “a win (in sports),” a stand-in for W. 

Examples of dub

Good luck To JSU Football Team Today As They Face UAPB Lets Get This Dub Before Homecoming💯🏈‼️ #TheeILove #JSU
@lacurtis_, October 2018
He also says he'd love to do a real dub-meets-metal band, even if he's the only one who likes it. Which frankly might end up being pretty cool.
Greg Kennelty, Metal Injection, September 2018

Who uses dub?

Dub sees wide use for “to give a name” to someone, usually an unofficial one like a nickname, e.g., We dubbed him Fiver since he was also five minutes late to meetings.  It also sees playfully lofty use in reference to its original knighting.

Should a team win a game or a person experience some victory, they make take the dub.

Dubbing is still very common in its foreign-language, voice-over sense. In the anime community, for instance, a debate rages over whether it’s better to watch a film in a dubbed or subbed (subtitled) version.


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This is not meant to be a formal definition of dub like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of dub that will help our users expand their word mastery.