September 11, 2013
plaid (noun)
\PLAD\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a rectangular length of tartan worn over the shoulder as part of the Scottish national costume2 : a fabric with a tartan pattern3 a : tartan b : a pattern of unevenly spaced repeated stripes crossing at right angles
How do you use it?
I was surprised to find out that my cousin Beth, who lives in Australia, has to wear a plaid skirt to school as part of the mandatory uniform.
Are you a word wiz?

Here are four words for other kinds of textiles. One of them, like "plaid," is Scottish in origin. Which one do you think originated in Scottish?

"Argyle," the name for a design commonly seen in knitted socks, entered English in the late 1800s. It comes from "Argyle" or "Argyll," the name of a branch of the Scottish clan of Campbell, from whose tartan the design was adapted. The other words all come from other languages. "Batik" entered English directly from Javanese in the early 1800s. "Gingham" came into English from a Malay word in the early 1600s. And although "tartan" refers to a plaid textile design of Scottish origin, the word itself is most likely from Middle French.
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