One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An allowance paid to cover the costs of meals and entertaining; specifically a special extra allowance of money made to a high-ranking officer in the British Navy (formerly also the Army), for official hospitality.
2A supplementary charge made for dining in a club, on a passenger ship, etc.
Mid 16th century (in an earlier sense). From table + money.
table money/ˈteɪbl ˌmʌni/
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