Word Origin & History
1520s, shortening of M.E. mapemounde "map of the world" (late 14c.), from M.L. mappa mundi "map of the world," first element from L. mappa "napkin, cloth" (on which maps were drawn), said by Quintilian to be of Punic origin (cf. Talmudic Heb. mappa, contraction of menafa "a fluttering banner") + L.
mundi "of the world," from mundus "universe, world" (see mundane
). The verb map is first attested 1580s; to put (something) on the map "bring it to wide attention" is from 1913. Related: mapping.