One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Military a table on which plotting of maps may be carried out; especially a large table bearing a small-scale map of a region on which the positions of forces, especially aircraft, ships, etc., may be represented by movable counters, etc.; (also) a table in an aeroplane, ship, etc., on which its course may be plotted.
2Computing rare a flatbed plotter.
Mid 18th century.
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