Juxtaposition \juhk-stuh-puh-ZISH-uhn\ , noun;
1. An act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast
2. The state of being close together or side by side
The first time I ever heard this word was in college Russian class. I snickered to myself, thinking that silly Russian lady just made up an English word. Egg on my face.
The word dates to the 1660's from French juxtaposition, which is a combination of Latin iuxta ("beside, near") and French position.
Iuxta is a contraction of *iugista, the superlative of the adjective *iugos ("closely connected"), which derives from the stem of iugum ("yoke") from iungere ("to join"). Iungere derives from Proto-Indo-European *yeug- ("to join") and is also the forebear of English jugular.
French position, like English position comes from Old French posicion, which derives from Latin positionem ("act or fact of placing, position, affirmation"). The Latin term ultimately derives from Proto-Indo-European *po-s(i)nere, a combination of *apo- + *sinere ("off, away" + "to leave, let").