"fleshy appendage below the neck of certain birds," 1510s (in jocular use extended to human beings, 1560s), of uncertain origin and of doubtful relationship to wattle (n.1). Related: Wattled.
early 15c., "network, structure," from Latin textura "web, texture, structure," from stem of texere "to weave" (from PIE root *teks- "to weave, to fabricate, to make; make wicker or wattle framework"). Meaning "structural character" is recorded from 1650s. Related: Textural.
mid-14c., dewelappe, "fold of skin that hangs from the throat of oxen and cows," from lappe "loose piece" (Old English læppa), but the first element is of unknown origin or meaning and probably has been altered by folk-etymology. Old English had fræt-læppa in this sense (Middle English fresh-lappe), and compare Danish doglæp. Later applied to the fleshy fold or wattle of a turkey and also to the human throat when flaccid with age (1580s).
late 14c., "wording of anything written," from Old French texte, Old North French tixte "text, book; Gospels" (12c.), from Medieval Latin textus "the Scriptures, text, treatise," in Late Latin "written account, content, characters used in a document," from Latin textus "style or texture of a work," literally "thing woven," from past participle stem of texere "to weave, to join, fit together, braid, interweave, construct, fabricate, build" (from PIE root *teks- "to weave, to fabricate, to make; make wicker or wattle framework").
An ancient metaphor: thought is a thread, and the raconteur is a spinner of yarns — but the true storyteller, the poet, is a weaver. The scribes made this old and audible abstraction into a new and visible fact. After long practice, their work took on such an even, flexible texture that they called the written page a textus, which means cloth. [Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style"]
To Socrates, a word (the name of a thing) is "an instrument of teaching and of separating reality, as a shuttle is an instrument of separating the web." The meaning "a digital text message" is by 2005.
Sense of "slay in combat" (c. 1300) is from Biblical expression smite to death, first attested c. 1200. Meaning "visit disastrously" is mid-12c., also Biblical. Meaning "strike with passion or emotion" is from c. 1300.