Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sat Nov 29 17:26:41 UTC 2003

Is there any reason to suppose that "[silly] twit" has any etymological
relationship to the verb "twit" = "tease" (etc.)?

My OED is apparently uncertain about the meaning of "twit" (sb1: 2),
recorded as "silly ... twit" from 1719 and 1896. Judging from the citations
as they stand, this could easily be continuous with the 20th-century use.

One obvious speculation would place "twit" on the spectrum which also
includes "twitchet" and "twat", with all three having the same one-word
gloss. Relatively sparse printed record would be expected.

-- Doug Wilson

More information about the Ads-l mailing list