In a thread from the other day, L. Fregimus posted a very useful limited Google search for the word притин, which led me to this poem (about Grigory Skovoroda) by Arseny Tarkovsky (a wonderful poet probably best known as the father of the director Andrei Tarkovsky), whose ninth and tenth lines are “Есть в природе притин своеволью:/ Степь течет оксамитом под ноги” (‘There is in nature a confine for willfulness: the steppe flows like oksamit underfoot’). Oksamit? Off to the dictionaries; it turned out to be a variant of aksamit, an old word for a kind of velvet, and Vasmer said it was from Greek ἑξάμιτος [hexámitos], literally ‘six-thread,’ which also gave rise to German Samt. Wait a minute, thought I, that rings a bell… Sure enough, English samite (OED: “A rich silk fabric worn in the Middle Ages, sometimes interwoven with gold”) is from the same source (“The med. Gr. name, lit. ‘six-threaded’, has been variously explained. Usually it has been supposed that the original ‘samite’ was woven of thread composed of six strands of silk; but according to Middleton in Encycl. Brit. XXIII. 210/1 it ‘was so called because the weft threads were only caught and looped at every sixth thread of the warp, lying loosely on the intermediate part’”). In English it has indelible associations with King Arthur (1470-85 MALORY Arthur I. xxv. 73 “In the myddes of the lake Arthur was ware of an arme clothed in whyte samyte”); in Russian I know it occurs in the Tale of Igor’s Campaign («…помчаша красныя дѣвкы половецкыя, а съ ними злато, и паволокы, и драгыя оксамиты», “They seized the fair maidens of the Pólovtsy, and with them gold and cloths and costly samite”), but I don’t know what if any associations it has for a modern reader.