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Although the term “plaid” is commonly used today in American English to refer to the pattern of criss-crossed bands of color on fabric, the pattern itself is generally referred to as “tartan”. In Scotland, the country of origin for the tartan patterns, “plaid” (derived from the Scottish Gaelic plaide, meaning “blanket”) was first used to refer to any rectangular garment (sometimes made up of tartan), and over time, used to refer to blankets themselves.