Fond of a Rubber (BE, c.1850)


New Member
English - American (Californian)
I am reading the book by William Makepeace Thackery Vanity Fair, which has many older words and sayings in English which are hard to understand. Many of them are either of little enough importance that I can continue without understanding them, or I can find them on The Online Etymology Website. One phrase which I can't find, and which I am extra interested in, is "TO FIND oneself fond of a rubber."

At this particular point in the book the author is discussing the situation of having a very rich aunt, and how the mannar in which one conducts oneself changes in the presence of the Aunt. After examples such as having gifts prepared by the children ready, having warmer fires in the fireplace, and having richer drinks prepared by the servants, comes the line, "You...forget to go to sleep after dinner, and find yourself all of the sudden (though you invariably lose) very fond of a rubber."

I assume it is a game that one plays with their aunt. So if anyone knows or even has any idea what this might mean, I'd be happy to be enlightened.

Perhaps we can just list games that we play with out rich aunts in England untl we find the one.

Thanks in advance.
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello Topher. It refers to the card game bridge ~ a game or round of bridge is called a rubber:)

    EDIT: Also whist, backgammon and cribbage, apparently.


    New Member
    English - American (Californian)
    Wow! Quick and easy answer. It looks like the usage is modern too. How funny that I thought it was aged English I was experiencing, from two decades ago, but it is really just British. I'd be embarrassed, but I can just claim good old American ignorance to things like Bridge. :)

    Thanks a lot, ewie!
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