c. 1300 (late 13c. as a surname), from Old French tabart "simple sleeveless overtunic," also "heavy overmantel" (12c.), of unknown origin; Diez suggests Latin tapete "figured cloth." Compare Medieval Latin tabardum, early Spanish tabardo, Italian tabarro. Originally a coarse, sleeveless upper garment worn by peasants and others who worked out-of-doors; later a knight's surcoat (hence the name of the tavern in "Canterbury Tales").