Etymology
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taffeta (n.)
mid-14c., "fine, smooth, lustrous silk cloth," also taffata, from Old French taffetas (early 14c.), from Italian taffeta or Medieval Latin taffata, ultimately from Persian taftah "silk or linen cloth," noun use of past participle of taftan "to twist, spin, weave, interlace," from Iranian *tap-. Applied to different fabrics in different eras (and see tapestry).
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tabby (n.)

1630s, "striped silk taffeta," from French tabis "a rich, watered silk" (originally striped), earlier atabis (14c.), from Arabic 'attabi, from 'Attabiyah, a neighborhood of Baghdad where such cloth was made, said to be named for prince 'Attab of the Omayyad dynasty. As an adjective from 1630s.

Tabby cat, one with a striped coat, is attested from 1690s; shortened form tabby first attested 1774. "The wild original of the domestic cat is always of such coloration" [Century Dictionary]. Sense of "female cat" (1826) may be influenced by the fem. proper name Tabby, a pet form of Tabitha, which was used in late 18c. as slang for "spiteful spinster, difficult old woman."

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