Besides its usual sense as a noun for the plant used to make cloth, cotton is also a verb meaning to get along with, to like. You see it in phrases like take a cotton to. How did the word for the plant acquire this verb sense?
The verb to cotton originally carried a meaning, now archaic, of to take on a nap, to acquire a smooth, glossy surface. From the 1488 entry in the Accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of Scotland:
Read the rest of the article...
Elne of cotonyt quhit clath to lyne the saim hos.
(An ell of cottoned white cloth to lie on the same horse.)
Copyright 1997-2015, by David Wilton