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Open a tab

Posted by Lewis on October 17, 2003

In Reply to: Tab posted by Ton on October 17, 2003

: Does anybody know the meaning of "to run a tab', and 'to open a tab'? It comes from one article where people went to restaurant.
: I know that a tab is a bill or account, check, but how can you open a tab in a retaurant?

When you begin to run up a bill - you 'open up' (as in start) your credit, when you pay, you 'close' it. from the days when credit was physically written up on a slate, credit was chalked on the slate or (tablet) on the tab.
the term has stuck and so people talk about opening and closing tabs still, even though usually it is data put into the restaurant billing computer.