E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
among the South Sea Islanders, means devoted in a religious sense. Thus, a temple is tapu, and he who violates a temple is tapu. Not only so, but everyone and everything connected with what is tapu becomes tapu also. Thus, Captain Cook was tapu because some of his sailors took rails from a temple of the Hawaiians to supply themselves with fuel, and, being devoted, he was slain Our taboo is the same word.