Etymology
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T and A (n.)

1972, short for tits and ass (a phrase attributed to Lenny Bruce), in reference to salacious U.S. mass media; earlier it was medical shorthand for "tonsils and adenoids" (1942).

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tabula rasa (n.)

"the mind in its primary state," 1530s, from Latin tabula rasa, literally "scraped tablet," from which writing has been erased, thus ready to be written on again, from tabula (see table (n.)) + rasa, fem. past participle of radere "to scrape away, erase" (see raze (v.)). A loan-translation of Aristotle's pinakis agraphos, literally "unwritten tablet" ("De anima," 7.22).

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tae kwon do 

1967, from Korean, said to represent tae "kick" + kwon "fist" + do "art, way, method."

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taedium vitae 

Latin, "weariness of life; a deep disgust with life tempting one to suicide."

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tai chi (n.)

1736, the "supreme ultimate" in Taoism and Neo-Confucianism, from Chinese tai "extreme" + ji "limit." As the name of a form of martial arts training (said to have been developed by a priest in the Sung dynasty, 960-1279) it is first attested 1962, in full, tai chi ch'uan, with Chinese quan "fist."

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tank top (n.)

1968, from tank suit "one-piece bathing costume" (1920s), so called because it was worn in a swimming tank (n.), i.e. pool.

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Te Deum 

early 12c., from Late Latin Te Deum laudamus "Thee God we praise," first words of the ancient Latin hymn.

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tea party (n.)

1772, from tea + party (n.). Political references to tea party all trace to the Boston tea party of 1773 (the name seems to date from 1824), in which radicals in Massachusetts colony boarded British ships carrying tea and threw the product into Boston Harbor in protest against the home government's taxation policies. It has been a model for libertarian political actions in the U.S. (generally symbolic), including citizen gatherings begun in early 2009 to protest government spending.

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teddy bear (n.)

1906, named for U.S. president Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt (1858-1919), a noted big-game hunter, whose conservationist fervor inspired a comic illustrated poem in the New York Times of Jan. 7, 1906, about two bears named Teddy, whose names were transferred to two bears presented to the Bronx Zoo that year. The name was picked up by toy dealers in 1907 for a line of "Roosevelt bears" imported from Germany. Meaning "big, lovable person" first attested 1957, from the song popularized by Elvis Presley.

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terra firma (n.)

c. 1600, "part of the Italian mainland ruled by Venice," from Modern Latin terra firma, literally "firm land," from Latin terra "earth, land" (from PIE root *ters- "to dry") + firma, fem. of firmus "strong, steadfast" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support"). Meaning "the land" (as distinct from "the sea") is first attested 1690s. Hakluyt and Sandys also used English firm (n.) to mean "the firm land, the mainland, terra firma."

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