Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 4 14:38:36 UTC 2013

As I've said before on several occasions, I don't get out much. So I
must be the last person the hear new words. Like "twerking"...

UD comes up with a bunch of hits, but there's an interesting
twist--there are 6 hits. The three from Dec. 2011 forward deal with
"slutty dancing". The other three only refer to rapid movement,
generally sex related. Well, two of them do that--the last one
identifies it as "teasing someone, to a torcherous level".

That might have been sufficient, but I thought it might have some
relation to "tweaking". One of the craft breweries (Avery, Boulder, CO),
renamed their caffeinated stout (mix of high-alcohol stout and freshly
brewed espresso) "Tweak", after they got complaints about the original
name (that included the word "meth" in it). "Tweaking" goes back at
least into the 1990s, but if UD is to be believed, there may be some
differentiation there as well. The original reference, I believe, was to
characterize the behavior of a meth addict (or, as some
dictionaries/glossaries suggest, actual meth addiction), but there is a
secondary meaning that's widespread now and that's for being nervous
around law enforcement (police, customs agents) that may not involve any
meth. One UD line deviates into the "twerking" territory, if it is to be
believed: "another word for banging". UD also has a bunch of similar
entries for "tweeking", for obvious reasons. A lot of noise here, but
the time frame is the same.

One down note--unfortunately it appears that the White House "Street
Terms" page has been removed as the Office of Drug Policy has been
evolving. At least, I have been unable to track it down.


The American Dialect Society -

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