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Dec 8, 2011
This week's theme
Words having origins in Iraq

This week's words
baldachin
tabby
babylon
muslin
babel

Marie Antoinette in a muslin dress; art by Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun
Marie Antoinette in a muslin dress
Art: Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

muslin

PRONUNCIATION:
(MUHZ-lin)

MEANING:
noun: A plain-woven cotton fabric made in various degrees of fineness.

ETYMOLOGY:
From French mousseline, from Italian mussolina, from Mussolo (Mosul, Iraq) which was known for this fabric. Earliest documented use: 1609.

NOTES:
Earlier sheer muslin was used for women's dresses and as a result, the word muslin was used collectively for women. Today muslin is mostly used for curtains, sheets, tablecloths, etc.

USAGE:
"What goes on in Brussels is glimpsed through a veil of muslin. Late night wheeler-dealing is not always recorded."
Stephen Glover; Let's Send More Reporters to Brussels; The Independent (London, UK); Nov 2, 2009.

See more usage examples of muslin in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
War is terrorism, magnified a hundred times. -Howard Zinn, historian, professor, author, playwright, and social activist (1922-2010)

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