"open wooden vessel made of staves," late 14c., from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, or Middle Flemish tubbe, of uncertain origin. Related to Old High German zubar "vessel with two handles, wine vessel," German Zuber. Considered to be unrelated to Latin tubus (see tube (n.)); one theory connects it to the root of two based on the number of handles. Also 17c. slang for "pulpit;" hence tub-thumper (1660s) "speaker or preacher who thumps the pulpit for emphasis."
updated on February 20, 2014