"type of thin, transparent fabric," c. 1600; earlier a common name for the festival of the Epiphany (early 14c.; in Anglo-French from late 13c.), from Old French Tifinie, Tiphanie "Epiphany" (c. 1200), from Late Latin Theophania "Theophany," another name for the Epiphany, from Greek theophania "the manifestation of a god" (see theophany).
Also popular in Old French and Middle English as a name given to girls born on Epiphany Day. The fabric sense is found only in English and is of obscure origin and uncertain relation to the other meanings, unless "holiday silk" or as a fanciful or playful allusion to "manifestation:"
The invention of that fine silke, Tiffanie, Sarcenet, and Cypres, which instead of apparell to cover and hide, shew women naked through them. [Holland's "Pliny," 1601]
The fashionable N.Y. jewelry firm Tiffany & Co. (1895) is named for its founder, goldsmith Charles L. Tiffany (1812-1902) and his son, Louis C. Tiffany (1848-1933), who was the art nouveau decorator noted for his glassware. The surname is attested in English from 1206.
1530s, "one skilled in any mechanical art, craftsman," from Italian artigiano, from Vulgar Latin *artitianus, from Latin artitus "skilled," past participle of artire "to instruct in the arts," from ars (genitive artis) "art" (see art (n.)). Barnhart reports French artisan, often given as the direct source of the English word, is attested too late to be so.
1610s, "a discourse or treatise on an art or the arts," from Greek tekhnologia "systematic treatment of an art, craft, or technique," originally referring to grammar, from tekhno-, combining form of tekhnē "art, skill, craft in work; method, system, an art, a system or method of making or doing," from PIE *teks-na- "craft" (of weaving or fabricating), from suffixed form of root *teks- "to weave," also "to fabricate." For ending, see -logy.
The meaning "study of mechanical and industrial arts" (Century Dictionary, 1895, gives as example "spinning, metal-working, or brewing") is recorded by 1859. High technology attested from 1964; short form high-tech is from 1972.