The word 'Picnic' gets its origin in France around late eighteenth century by joining the common form of the verb ''piquer'' (meaning "to pick or peck" from old French") and the phrase "Dire nic" (meaning "something of little value").
A picnic was originally intended as a term to describe a communal meal where all participants provide part of the meal, and was not necessarily a description of a meal on a grassy knoll.
The phrase ''picnic table'' was coined in 1926 and was originally a simple folding table.
- Source 1: Barnhart Etymological Dictionary
- Source 2: Etymonline Online Etymology Dictionary