Etymology
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tableau (n.)

1690s, "a picturesque or graphic description or picture," from French tableau "picture, painting" (12c.), from Old French table "slab, writing tablet" (see table (n.)) + diminutive suffix -eau, from Latin -ellus. Hence tableau-vivant (1817) "person or persons silent and motionless, enacting a well-known scene, incident, painting, etc.," 19c. parlor game, literally "living picture."

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tablecloth (n.)

also table-cloth, "cloth for covering the top of a table," mid-15c., from table (n.) + cloth.

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table-d'hote (n.)

"common table for guests at a hotel," French, table-d'hôte, literally "table of the host;" see table (n.) + host (n.).

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tablespoon (n.)

spoon used in table-service, 1763, from table (n.) + spoon (n.).

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tablet (n.)

c. 1300, "slab or flat surface for an inscription" (especially the two Mosaic tables of stone), from Old French tablete "small table, merchant's display counter" (13c., Modern French tablette), diminutive of table "slab," or from Medieval Latin tabuleta (source also of Spanish tableta, Italian tavoletta), diminutive of Latin tabula (see table (n.)). The meaning "lozenge, pill" is first recorded 1580s; that of "pad of writing paper" in 1880.

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tableware (n.)

also table-ware, 1799, from table (n.) + ware (n.).

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tabloid (n.)

1884, Tabloid, "small tablet of medicine," trademark name (by Burroughs, Wellcome and Co.) for compressed or concentrated chemicals and drugs, a hybrid formed from tablet + Greek-derived suffix -oid. By 1898, it was being used figuratively to mean a compressed form or dose of anything, hence tabloid journalism (1901), and newspapers that typified it (1917), so called for having short, condensed news articles and/or for being small in size. Associated originally with Alfred C. Harmsworth, editor and proprietor of the London Daily Mail.

Mr. Harmsworth entered a printing office twenty years ago as office-boy, and today owns thirty periodicals besides The Mail. Upon a friendly challenge from Mr. Pulitzer of The New York World, the English journalist issued the first number of The World for the new century in the ideal form. The size of the page was reduced to four columns and the general make-up was similar in appearance to that of one of the weekly magazines. Current news was presented in condensed and tabulated form, of which the editor says: "The world enters today upon the twentieth or time-saving century. I claim that by my system of condensed or tabloid journalism hundreds of working hours can be saved each year." ["The Twentieth Century Newspaper," in The Social Gospel, February 1901]
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taboo (adj.)

also tabu, 1777 (in Cook's "A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean"), "consecrated, inviolable, forbidden, unclean or cursed," explained in some English sources as being from Tongan (Polynesian language of the island of Tonga) ta-bu "sacred," from ta "mark" + bu "especially." But this may be folk etymology, as linguists in the Pacific have reconstructed an irreducable Proto-Polynesian *tapu, from Proto-Oceanic *tabu "sacred, forbidden" (compare Hawaiian kapu "taboo, prohibition, sacred, holy, consecrated;" Tahitian tapu "restriction, sacred, devoted; an oath;" Maori tapu "be under ritual restriction, prohibited"). The noun and verb are English innovations first recorded in Cook's book.

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tabor (n.)

also tabour, "small drum resembling a tamborine," c. 1300, from Old French tabour, tabur "drum; din, noise, commotion" (11c.), probably from Persian tabir "drum," but evolution of sense and form are uncertain; compare tambourine.

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