dubbed the EI system a postal code lottery


Senior Member
The EI program divides the country into 62 economic regions, and where a worker resides has a direct and profound impact on how they fare under the system. The Mowat Centre EI Task Force dubbed the EI system a postal code lottery.
Until today, I wasn't aware of the meaning of the word "dub" in this sense.

Cambridge defines "dub" as "to give something or someone a particular name, especially describing what you think of it, him, or her". Macmillan defines it as "to give someone or something a particular name or description, often a humorous one".

Example: She was dubbed by the newspapers "the Angel of Death". (Cambridge)

I have never heard of it used this way. Is this a common word (with this particular meaning) among native speakers? Will it be clearly understood to mean this particular meaning?
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's common enough in writing, though I don't recall hearing it used in speech. Another use of this word is when an English monarch says "I dub thee Knight" while tapping a man on his shoulder with his/her sword*. From then on, he is addressed as Sir Name. (The title is Dame for women, in both the dubbing and the addressing.)
    *The flat side, not the sharp part.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Journalism. They need another word to stop them writing plain English like 'call'. No-one outside journalism would use 'dub' like this.

    And yes, it's common enough. In my work, I make growling noises when I see it, and often change it to 'call'.
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