Etymology

deriving from the Greek for 'true' (eteos/etymos) and 'word' (logos)

Curious about the origin of a word or term? Send it to us and we shall go forth and investigate.

Tweed: the rough woollen fabric your philosophy professor used to wear while hunting. But did you know of its exciting and accidental origins?! (The cloth itself is unremarkable, it's its actual name we're talking about here.) Originally, the fabric was known as tweel (Scottish variant of twill). The story has it that circa 1830s, a London merchant misinterpreted the writing in a letter accompanying some tweel fabric, and confusedly (perhaps influenced by Tweed Water in Scotland) named the fabric 'tweed' in subsequent correspondence. Henceforth, it was known as that. Once mass-produced, the fabric was instantly embraced as a status symbol by the middle class trying to emulate the upper class, much like iPhones and op shops are embraced by today's hipster, who, I hear, is also clad in tweed nowadays.