Dweeble (1987)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Aug 3 11:24:04 UTC 2004

Never heard of a "dweeble" or a "ween bucket" before.

In the late 70s or so TV kid's shows frequently advertised small anthropomorphic toys called "Weebles."  ("Weebles wobble but they don't fall down!")

My guess is that "dweeb" + "Weeble" = "dweeble."


"Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: "Douglas G. Wilson"
Subject: Dweeble (1987)

"Dweeble" is a longer form of "dweeb", I think.


_Frederick Post_ (Frederick MD), 25 April 1987: p. A-3:

<someone who's "stupid, a jerk, anybody you don't like," she said.>>


Of course "dweeble" (also "dwaible" etc.) is an old Scots word (which
appears in MW3).

The SND shows the noun as applied to a person, defined as "a weak, helpless
person; especially one who is over-tall", with examples from 1880 and 1901.
This is not impossible as the ancestor of the modern "dweeb[le]".

I am skeptical of the continuity of "dweeble", however, and I suspect that
the new "dweeb[le]" is an independent fanciful coinage, perhaps based on
"dwarf" (cf. "poison dwarf", in Jonathon Green's dictionary) + "feeb[le]".

Is any other information available?

-- Doug Wilson

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