Where does the word “Taffeta” come from and What does Taffeta mean in French?

Although the name Taffeta has been applied and misapplied to many different fabrics during the span of the nearly six centuries during which it has been in the language, its original sense, “a plainly woven, glossy silk,” reflects its origin closely.

The word has been through just about all the Romance languages on its way toward English (Old French taffetas or taphetas, Medieval Latin taffata, Italian taffeta, Portuguese tat eta, Spanish tafetan), but it came originally from the Persian taftah, “silken cloth,” a substituted use of the past particle of taftan, “to shine.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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