We’ve been studying medieval history in our homeschool right now, which of course means learning about knights and the process they go through to become knights. Which naturally led to a question of where in the world the word dub came from.
Dub has been around since the days of Old English–its exact origins are unknown, but the theory is that it was borrowed from the Old French aduber, which meant “equip with arms, adorn.” That, in turn, may have originally been a Germanic word, though etymologists aren’t certain. At any rate, this borrowed word meant “to knight by ceremonially striking with a sword” as early as the 11th century.
By the late 1500s it had been extended to the less-specific meaning of “to provide with a name.”