India-rubber ball

  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Please give us the complete sentence, and tell us where you found it.

    Also, have you tried looking up “India rubber” in a dictionary or on Wikipedia?
     

    sampathronjay

    Senior Member
    Sinhala
    The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
    Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
    For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
    And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    That part of the world was commonly known as the "Indies, the "East Indies", at the time RL Stevenson was writing. 'India rubber' does not refer to the modern state of India.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    We don't call rubber "India rubber" in the U.S. I don't know if other places still do. It sounds very old-fashioned to me. But that is an old poem.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "India-rubber" was common up to perhaps the mid-twentieth century in Britain, for what we now call "rubber" (noun, both "a rubber" (eraser) and the material). OED has an example from How to be Topp by Geoffrey Willans (1954), which shows it must have been common use in schools (sorry, skools :)) at the time, although I am pretty sure it must have quickly died out after then. OED has no later entries that don't have at least some element of referring back to an earlier age, and maybe using obsolete language to match.
     

    sampathronjay

    Senior Member
    Sinhala
    "India-rubber" was common up to perhaps the mid-twentieth century in Britain, for what we now call "rubber" (noun, both "a rubber" (eraser) and the material). OED has an example from How to be Topp by Geoffrey Willans (1954), which shows it must have been common use in schools (sorry, skools :)) at the time, although I am pretty sure it must have quickly died out after then. OED has no later entries that don't have at least some element of referring back to an earlier age, and maybe using obsolete language to match.
    Thank you very much
     

    kittykatt20

    New Member
    English
    This name/ term popped up in a crossword puzzle. Eureka, I knew the answer was india--rubber ball. A term embedded in my brain from childhood in the USA. It hadn't crossed my mind since old days playing in the yard. Crazy what is in those convulutions of my gray matter.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Rubber trees are grown in the tropics. I thought most of it was from South America. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that India is also a source for the latex producing trees. Apparently India rubber is an inferior product.

    India rubber plant | Description, Uses, & Facts

    India rubber plant, (Ficus elastica), also called India rubber tree, large tree of the family Moraceae, once an important source of an inferior natural rubber. It was largely replaced as a source of rubber by the unrelated rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) in the early 20th century. The India rubber plant is native to Southeast Asia and is commonly grown as an indoor pot plant elsewhere.
     

    Macro6461

    New Member
    English
    “India Rubber” was also used in the adventures of Tom Sawyer (originally published in the US in 1876) to describe one of the “schoolboy treasures of inestimable value.” One of the these items is an “India-rubber ball” probably referring to a ball made of rubber from one of the regions mentioned in the above comments. While I’ve never heard this term outside of this book, it’s safe to say “india-rubber” was a term used in the US (at least in the late 1800s south).
     
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