1520s, shortening of Middle English mapemounde "map of the world" (late 14c.), and in part from Middle French mappe, shortening of Old French mapemonde, both English and French words from Medieval Latin mappa mundi "map of the world;" first element from Latin mappa "napkin, cloth" (on which maps were drawn), "tablecloth, signal-cloth, flag," said by Quintilian to be of Punic origin (compare Talmudic Hebrew mappa, contraction of Mishnaic menaphah "a fluttering banner, streaming cloth") + Latin mundi "of the world," from mundus "universe, world" (see mundane). Commonly used 17c. in a figurative sense of "epitome; detailed representation." To put (something) on the map "bring it to wide attention" is from 1913.