Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 13 22:55:37 UTC 2010

I've been working on a response to a post just like that most of the
day, but have not been able to post it yet--perhaps in half an hour. I
agree that it is HIGHLY unlikely that "twink" evolved from "twinkie" or
"twinkletoes", but Ron is also wrong that this is a new or nonce word.
"Twink" has appeared on par with "twinkle" since Chaucer, and there are
quite varying meanings and uses of the word, including twinkle, wink,
twinge, a moment in time and an onomatopoeiadic chirp. Any of these
could have served as a starting point--except for the unfortunate
distribution problem that "twink" was in much broader use in England
than in the US. But what would have prevented a homosexual writer of
English origin, but living in the US, from coining the term, which then
received wider distribution? The timeline certainly does not rule out
this possibility even if limit ourselves to a single such writer--or poet.

Spurious etymology is certainly something that should be avoided, but
not all etymology that seems unlikely to many of us is necessarily
wrong. As an amateur, I am well aware of the dangers of such
proclamations. But the real danger is in accepting "obvious" etymologies
that may turn out to be just as spurious.


On 2/13/2010 12:30 PM, RonButters at AOL.COM wrote:
> Mr. Lightner (see below) seeks to justify his earlier pointless miscellaneous posting of words that he has personally just now noticed containing the word "twink" in homosexual and other contexts. But these, his several more recent contributions, contain an even more pointless (and self-contradictory) set of postings postulating putative "etymologies" of "twink" as a heterosexual's derogatory term for   homosexuals in general   (a not very common usage) and (in particular) a gay lingo pejorative (in my experience, for mindless, pretty young men of whatever sexual persuasion who are obsessed how nice they look).
> As Mr. Lightner is surely well aware, slang expressions are notoriously
> ...

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