One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A board forming the top of a table.
2US. The regular provision of meals to a paying customer; board considered separately from lodging.
Late 15th century (in an earlier sense). From table + board. With sense 1 compare Middle Dutch tafelbert, tafelbort (Dutch † tafelboord), Middle Low German tavelbret, Middle High German zabelbret (German (now hist.) Zabelbrett), Old Icelandic taflborð, Old Swedish taflbordh (Swedish (now hist.) tavelbord), and Welsh tawlbwrdd, all denoting a board for backgammon or a similar game, and also earlier tabler.
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