- tete (n.)
- as a type of women's tall dressed hair or wig, 1756, from French tête "head," Old French teste, from Latin testa, literally "piece of earthenware, tile, potsherd; earthen pot, pitcher, jug; shell of shellfish," related to Latin testudo "tortoise" and texere "to weave" (cf. Lithuanian tištas "vessel made of willow twigs;" see texture (n.)).
The "head" sense arose in Vulgar Latin, perhaps as a humorous use of the "jug, pot" meaning, or via Late Latin use of testa as "skull," from testa (capitis) "shell (of the head)." Cf. German Kopf "head" from the root of English cup (n.).