Posted by ESC on November 14, 2002
In Reply to: Offer a rubber posted by James Briggs on November 14, 2002
: : Does anybody know what is the meaning of a phrase "OFFER THE RUBBER". Please see below the sentence it is used in ,
: : ------Well, did the Vice-Chairman offer the technology man a rubber in the short period that they met? "Yes, I did offer him a rubber, but he did not accept it." Any takers?----
: This seems to be one of the really embarrassing differences between UK and N American English! 'Rubber' in UK english, and other places as well, I guess, is something you use to 'rub out' pencil marks - an 'eraser' in NA English.
: 'Rubber' in NA English is a male cotraceptive device - a 'condom'(after the French Count who developed the original idea) in UK. Because of the French connection, they are also called 'French letters' in the UK.
: I guess your quote above is using NA English!!
: However, language is moving so quickly these days that I may be way off beam!
Also in the U.S., "rubbers" means men's boots -- the kind that slip on over shoes. So the vice-chairman could be offering an eraser, a condom or boots.