One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tub containing, or designed to contain blood; especially a tub employed in a slaughterhouse to hold the blood of slaughtered animals. Now also in extended use.
2US History. Chiefly with capital initial(s). Usually in plural A member of a street gang based in Baltimore, Maryland, whose members made violent interventions in the elections of the 1850s and 1860s in support of the nativist cause; (also) a member of any of various similar gangs existing on the East Coast in the same period.
3British. A familiar or colloquial name for: a theatre or cinema having a reputation for presenting violent or sensational material, especially lurid melodramas. Now historical.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Proceedings of the Old Bailey. From blood + tub.
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