July 02, 2016
tissue (noun)
\TISH-oo\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a fine lightweight fabric2 : a piece of soft absorbent paper3 : a mass or layer of cells usually of one kind together with the uniting or enclosing substance around and between them that form the basic structural materials of a plant or an animal
How do you use it?
"Kate was never ‘wild' with Mrs. May, nor untidy, nor self-willed; and Mrs. May taught her many things besides crochet: how to wind wool into an egg-shaped ball; how to run-and-fell and plan a darn; how to tidy a drawer and to lay, like a blessing, above the contents, a sheet of rustling tissue against the dust." (Mary Norton, _The Borrowers_)
Are you a word wiz?

Which word do you think is related to "tissue"?

We can trace "tissue" back to its roots in the Latin word "texere." "Texere" means "to weave" which fits nicely with the fabric meaning of "tissue." But what does weaving have to do with the word "context"? Well, "context" refers to terms that are used near a certain word in speech or writing and that help to explain that word's meaning. It traces to the Latin "contexere" which was formed from "texere" and means "to weave together." Latin speakers used "contexere" to form "contextus" meaning "connection of words." Middle English speakers adopted "contextus" to form "context" and used it to mean "weaving together of words," a meaning of "context" that is no longer in use.
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