"Bubble and squeak" is predominantly a British meal, and its name comes from the sound it makes during cooking. It is usually made from vegetable leftovers, which are fried.
The leftovers typically come from a traditional Sunday roast. The first recorded reference to "bubble and squeak" as fried beef and cabbage is attributed to Thomas Bridges. He wrote in "A Burlesque Translation of Homer," first published in 1762, "We therefore cook'd him up a dish of lean bull-beef, with cabbage fried, ... Bubble, they call this dish, and squeak."
Another historical reference to the dish comes from Francis Grose, who included "bubble and squeak" in his "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue." He said that its name is based on "its bubbling up and squeaking whilst over the fire."