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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Tabby \Tab"by\, n.; pl. Tabbies. [F. tabis (cf. It. tab[`i], Sp. & Pg. tab['i], LL. attabi), fr. Ar. 'att[=a]b[=i], properly the name of a quarter of Bagdad where it was made, the quarter being named from the prince Attab, great grandson of Omeyya. Cf. Tobine.]

  1. A kind of waved silk, usually called watered silk, manufactured like taffeta, but thicker and stronger. The watering is given to it by calendering.

  2. A mixture of lime with shells, gravel, or stones, in equal proportions, with an equal proportion of water. When dry, this becomes as hard as rock.

  3. A brindled cat; hence, popularly, any cat.

  4. An old maid or gossip. [Colloq.]


n. (tabby English)

Usage examples of "tabbies".

None of the CVLs had any fighters, the battlecruisers' magazines were less than two-thirds filled, and two battleships still had repair techs aboard, but they all mounted third-generation ECM, and the Tabbies had it on-line in deception mode.

That's not a lot, but the Tabbies did well to scrape up even that much after being surprised this way.

For purposes of getting along with other navies they assigned their personnel equivalent seniorities, but the fact of the matter was that not even the Tabbies truly understood how the consensual Gorm picked their military officers.

The Tabbies hadn't really been happy since the First Interstellar War, when small spacecraft had ceased to be effective combat units—a warrior with 150,000 tonnes of superdreadnought wrapped around him was hardly a warrior at all.

Faced with an inescapable physical limit on interstellar expansion and physically uncomfortable with population densities humans or Tabbies found acceptable, the Ophiuchi had stabilized their planetary populations at relatively sparse levels which limited the size of the navy they could build or maintain, but their technology was among the galaxy's best and their units routinely exercised as integral parts of TFN formations.

His jeweled metal harness flashed with what seemed barbaric splendor, but the furred Tabbies, who went unclothed in normal environments, invested all the effort humans expended on tailors on their metalsmiths, and by Orion standards, Anaasa's harness was downright modest.

It had been a tremendous loss of face to draw blood, but an even greater one to flinch from the strike, and the Tabbies had lost more than one high-ranking officer to the duels clumsy greetings had inspired.

It irked him to admit it, but the Tabbies were better than Terrans at fighter ops.

In general terms, Terran hardware tended to be the best in space, but the Tabbies persistently—and irritatingly, for some humans—produced the galaxy's best cyberneticists.

In particular, he seemed to resonate well with the Tabbies, of whom there were quite a few here, along with a fair number of Ophiuchi and a couple of Gorm.

That wasn't what the Tabbies called it, of course, but it was a designation humans could pronounce, and Prescott nodded.

Combining their battle-line units' light fighter components with their carrier strikegroups, the Tabbies also accounted for eighty-three of the task force's hundred and ten fighter squadrons, and they'd managed to scare up four battleships, as well.

And, she reflected, the fact that they're the only known race that make even better fighter pilots than the Tabbies doesn't hurt.

Another was their heavy-grav origins, for the Gorm had spread throughout the Khanate's vast sphere to colonize planets whose atmospheres would have been lethal to the Tabbies, and people who could turn worlds like that into revenue-generating propositions were far too valuable not to be granted special status.

In general terms, Terran hardware tended to be the best in space, but the Tabbies persistently - and irritatingly, for some humans - produced the galaxy's best cyberneticists.