early 13c., talken, probably a diminutive or frequentative form related to Middle English tale "story," ultimately from the same source as tale (cf. hark from hear, stalk from steal) and replacing that word as a verb. East Frisian has talken "to talk, chatter, whisper." Related: Talked; talking.
To talk shop is from 1854. To talk turkey is from 1824, supposedly from an elaborate joke about a swindled Indian. To talk back "answer impudently or rudely" is from 1869. Phrase talking head is by 1966 in the jargon of television production, "an in-tight closeup of a human head talking on television." In reference to a person who habitually appears on television in talking-head shots (usually a news anchor), by 1970. The phrase is used earlier, in reference to the well-known magic trick (e.g. Senior Wences talking head-in-the-box trick on the "Ed Sullivan Show"), and to actual talking heads in mythology around the world (e.g. Orpheus, Bran).