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definition of the word tube

by the Wiktionnary

from Middle French tube



tube (plural tubes)

  1. Anything that is hollow and cylindrical in shape.
  2. An approximately cylindrical container, usually with a crimped end and a screw top, used to contain and dispense semi-liquid substances.
    A tube of toothpaste.
  3. (London, colloquial) The London Underground railway system, originally referred to the lower level lines that ran in tubular tunnels as opposed to the higher ones which ran in rectangular section tunnels.
    No mate, I am taking the tube!
  4. (Australia, slang) A tin can containing beer (or other beverage?)
    • 1995, Sue Butler, Lonely Planet Australian Phrasebook: Language Survival Kit
      Tinnie: a tin of beer — also called a tube.
    • 2002, Andrew Swaffer, Katrina O'Brien, Darroch Donald, Footprint Australia Handbook: The Travel Guide [text repeated in Footprint West Coast Australia Handbook (2003)]
      Beer is also available from bottleshops (or bottle-o's') in cases (or 'slabs') of 24-36 cans (‘tinnies' or ‘tubes') or bottles (‘stubbies') of 375 ml each.
    • 2004, Paul Matthew St. Pierre, Portrait of the Artist as Australian: L'Oeuvre Bizarre de Barry Humphries
      That Humphries should imply that, in the Foster's ads, Hogan's ocker appropriated McKenzie's discourse (specifically the idiom "crack an ice-cold tube") reinforces my contention.
  5. (surfing) A wave which pitches forward when breaking, creating a hollow space inside.
  6. (US, colloquial) A television. Also, derisively, boob tube.
    Are you just going to sit around all day and watch the tube?

Use for beer can was popularised in UK by a long-running series of advertisements for Foster's lager, where Paul Hogan used a phrase "crack an ice-cold tube" previously associated with Barry Humphries' character Barry McKenzie. (For discussion of this see Paul Matthew St. Pierre's book cited above.)

Definition from Wiktionary
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