May 20, 2012
- tea (noun)
- What does it mean?
- 1 : the leaves and leaf buds of a shrub grown chiefly in China, Japan, India, and Sri Lanka prepared for use in a beverage; also : this shrub2 : a drink made by soaking tea in boiling water3 : refreshments usually including tea served in late afternoon; also : a reception at which tea is served
- How do you use it?
- "Abuelita might host a group of ladies for a formal tea in the afternoon, then after they had gone, be found wandering barefoot in the grapes, with a book in her hand, quoting poetry to the birds." (Pam Mu(oz Ryan, Esperanza Rising)
- Are you a word wiz?
What language do you think gave us the word "tea"?Although people around the world enjoy tea, the word came to English from Chinese. "Tea" first appeared in English in the mid-1600s from a Chinese word that is spelled in our alphabet as "dé." The name of the small orange fruit called the "kumquat," from Chinese words meaning "gold citrus fruit," followed later in the same century. In the late 1800s and the 1900s, the popularity of Chinese restaurants in English-speaking countries made "chop suey," "chow mein," "lo mein," and "wonton" as familiar as hamburgers and hot dogs. Two popular dog breeds, the long-haired "shih tzu" and the wrinkled "shar-pei," also have names borrowed from Chinese.