mesa (n.)

"high table land, in the U.S. Southwest, a broad and flat region between canyons or rivers," 1759, from Spanish mesa "plateau," literally "table," from Latin mensa "table" for sacred offerings or for meals (source of Romanian masa, Old French moise "table"), which de Vaan writes is probably the feminine of the past participle mensus ("measured") of metiri (from PIE root *me- (2) "to measure"),formed by analogy with pensus "weighed."  He compares Umbrian mefa, mefe, name of a certain sacrificial object, perhaps cake, and writes, "In Latin, the meaning then shifted from the offering itself to the object on which the offerings were placed."

Others Are Reading