First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Tab

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Tab mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Tab

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Tab
  1. The flap or latchet of a shoe fastened with a string or a buckle.
  2. A tag. See Tag, 2.
  3. A loop for pulling or lifting something.
  4. A border of lace or other material, worn on the inner front edge of ladies' bonnets.
  5. A loose pendent part of a lady's garment; esp., one of a series of pendent squares forming an edge or border.
  6. a small projecting piece of a file folder, file card, or similar sheet used in a filing system, on which a notation is written to permit convenient search for the folder, card, etc.
  7. a bill or check for some purchase, as in a restaurant; as, the salesman will pick up the tab .
  8. a key on a typewriter or computer keyboard which advances the carriage or curser to the next (preset) tab position; -- used especially to type or print text or numbers in columns.

Etymology: Etymol. uncertain

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A dose of medicine in the form of a small pellet
  2. A short strip of material attached to or projecting from something in order to facilitate opening or identifying or handling it ("pull the tab to open the can", "files with a red tab will be stored separately", "the collar has a tab with a button hole", and "the filing cards were organized by cards having indexed tabs")
  3. The key on a typewriter or a word processor that causes a tabulation
  4. Sensationalist journalism
  5. The bill in a restaurant

First attested 1607, of uncertain origin.

  1. A small flap or strip of material attached to something, for holding, manipulation, identification, etc.
  2. (slang) An ear.
  3. (by extension, graphical user interface) A navigational widget, resembling a physical tab, for switching between documents or sets of controls.
  4. (informal) A tablet, especially one containing illicit drugs.
  5. (British Army, military slang) A fast march or run with full kit.

Apocopation (shortening) of tabulation.

  1. (informal) A restaurant bill.
  2. (slang) Credit account, e.g., in a shop or bar; slate
    Put this round on my , will you, barman.
  3. Short for tabulator.
  4. (computing) A space character that extends to the next aligned column, traditionally used for tabulation.

Likely to have been formed by clipping the Geordie pronunciation of the word tobacco or alternatively from the brand name Ogden's Tabs.

  1. (Britain, regional, Geordie and Mackem) cigarette.
    Giv'is a man!

Clipping of tablature

  1. A form of musical notation indicating fingering rather than the pitch of notes, commonly used for stringed instruments.

Clipping of Cantab, from Latin Cantabrigia (“Cambridge”).

  1. (British slang) A student of Cambridge University.

Clipping of tabloid

  1. (colloquial) A tabloid newspaper.

    tab was also found in the following language(s): Kurdish, Lojban, and Volapük

    Notable Persons Named Tab

    Tab Hunter is an actor, singer, and writer. His ongoing career started in 1950. Tab was given the name Arthur Andrew Kelm on July 11th, 1931 in New York City.


    Turk is a hip hop music and gangsta rap rapper, vocalist, rapping, and singing. His most notable accomplishments were from 1996 to present. Turk was given the name Tab Virgil, Jr. on February 8th, 1981 in New Orleans. Turk is also known as Young Turk and Lil' Turk.


    Tab Benoit is a swamp blues, soul blues, and chicago blues musician and songwriter. He plays Human voice and Guitar. He was most prominent from 1987 to 1987. Tab was born on November 17th, 1967 in Houma, Louisiana.


    Tab Ramos is a soccer player for the NC State Wolfpack, New Jersey Eagles, Miami Freedom, UE Figueres, Real Betis, Tigres UANL, New York Red Bulls, and United States men's national soccer team. Tab was born on September 21st, 1966 in Montevideo, Uruguay.


    Tab Thacker was an actor, wrestler, and collegiate wrestling. Tab was given the name Talmadge Layne Thacker on March 10th, 1962 in United States. He left this life on December 28th, 2007.


    Tab Baldwin is an athlete for the Philippines men's national basketball team. Tab was born on May 16th, 1958 in Jacksonville, Florida.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Tab

    Mohammad Aram Tab is a soccer player for the Saba Qom F.C., Kowsar F.C., Tarbiat Yazd F.C., Nassaji Mazandaran F.C., and Aluminium Hormozgan F.C. Mohammad was born on February 7th, 1985 in Iran.


    How popular is the baby name Tab in the U.S.?

    Click Here to Show Chart Data
    Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
    1953 6 0 6
    1954 13 0 13
    1955 43 0 43
    1956 69 0 69
    1957 120 0 120
    1958 81 0 81
    1959 88 0 88
    1960 67 0 67
    1961 51 0 51
    1962 45 0 45
    1963 50 0 50
    1964 42 0 42
    1965 47 0 47
    1966 43 0 43
    1967 38 0 38
    1968 21 0 21
    1969 22 0 22
    1970 30 0 30
    1971 18 0 18
    1972 18 0 18
    1973 8 0 8
    1974 9 0 9
    1975 9 0 9
    1976 6 0 6
    1977 9 0 9
    1978 8 0 8
    1979 11 0 11
    1980 12 0 12
    1981 5 0 5
    1982 9 0 9
    1983 6 0 6
    1984 8 0 8
    1985 6 0 6
    1986 9 0 9
    1987 11 0 11
    1988 11 0 11
    1989 9 0 9
    1990 8 0 8
    1991 13 0 13
    1993 6 0 6
    1995 7 0 7
    1996 7 0 7
    2013 7 0 7
    2015 5 0 5

    Where is the name Tab popular?

    View popular names by state or region.

    Popularity of Tab as a first name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Tab as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in California, Ohio, or Pennsylvania.

    Fun Facts about the name Tab

    • How Popular is the name Tab? Tab is the 9,877th most popular name of all time.
    • How many people with the first name Tab have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 1,111 babies born with the first name Tab in the United States. That's more than enough people named Tab to occupy the territory of Niue (New Zealand) with an estimated population of 1,000 (as of July 1, 2012).
    • What year were 5 or more babies first named Tab? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1953 when it was given as a first name to 6 new born babies.
    • When was Tab first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Tab is Wednesday, July 16th, 1879.
    • What year had the most people named Tab born? The highest recorded use of the first name Tab was in 1957 with a total of 120 babies.
    • Random Tab Factoid: According to the 1962 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Tab is not a popular baby boy's name in California. Imagine that, only 5 babies in California have the same name as you in 1962.
    • Weird things about the name Tab: Your name in reverse order is Bat. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Abt. How do you pronounce that?

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.