So what do a card game (canasta), a type of coarse tobacco (canaster) and a metal tin for keeping your coffee or tea fresh (canister) have in common?
Award yourself a treat from the biscuit canister if you can work it out.
Word To Use Today: canasta or canaster or canister.
Answer: all these words come from the Greek word kanna, which means reed (as does the word canal, for that matter).
But how the words are connected?
Here's a clue: the words all also come from the Latin word canistrum, which means a basket made of reeds.
It's an easy hop and a skip from there to the idea of storage container (and also to the other type of canister, which is a sort of shrapnel loaded inside a shell); and if you think about tobacco, that, too, needs to be packed in something, and in this case it's a basket made of rushes (the word comes to us through the Spanish canastro).
But the card game?
Well, it uses two packs...
…and that's very nearly a basketful.