One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tablet; a list or register inscribed on a tablet; a catalogue or index. Now historical.
2Archaeology. A tablet or plaque; a plate, platter, or dish, especially one with a painted or engraved design.
Early 17th century. From classical Latin pinax, the title of a book by Aurelius Opilius, in post-classical Latin also table for calculating Easter (3rd cent.), astronomical table from ancient Greek πίναξ board, plank, tablet, picture, platter, in Hellenistic Greek also board or tablet on which astronomical tables were drawn, in plural, πίνακες, tables or catalogues of authors, lists of philosophers from the same Indo-European base as Sanskrit pināka staff, Russian pen′, Polish pień, Bulgarian păn log.
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