twitting

twit

1 [twit]
verb (used with object), twitted, twitting.
1.
to taunt, tease, ridicule, etc., with reference to anything embarrassing; gibe at. jeer at, mock, insult, deride.
2.
to reproach or upbraid. chide, scold, rebuke, criticize, revile, castigate.
noun
3.
an act of twitting.
4.
a derisive reproach; taunt; gibe.

Origin:
1520–30; aphetic variant of obsolete atwite, Middle English atwiten, Old English ætwītan to taunt, equivalent to æt- at1 + wītan to blame

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World English Dictionary
twit1 (twɪt)
 
vb , twits, twitting, twitted
1.  (tr) to tease, taunt, or reproach, often in jest
 
n
2.  informal (US), (Canadian) a nervous or excitable state
3.  rare a reproach; taunt
 
[Old English ætwītan, from æt against + wītan to accuse; related to Old High German wīzan to punish]

twit2 (twɪt)
 
n
informal chiefly (Brit) a foolish or stupid person; idiot
 
[C19: from twit1 (originally in the sense: a person given to twitting)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

twit
1530, aphetic form of atwite, from O.E. ætwitan "to blame, reproach," from æt "at" + witan "to blame," from P.Gmc. *witanan (cf. O.E. wite, O.S. witi, O.N. viti "punishment, torture;" O.H.G. wizzi "punishment," wizan "to punish;" Du. verwijten, O.H.G. firwizan, Ger. verweisen "to reproach,
reprove," Goth. fraweitan "to avenge"), from PIE base *weid- "to see." For sense evolution, cf. L. animadvertere, lit. "to give heed to, observe," later "to chastise, censure, punish." The noun meaning "foolish, stupid and ineffectual person" is first attested 1934 in British slang, popular 1950s-60s, crossed over to U.S. with British sitcoms. It probably developed from the verb sense of "reproach" but may be influenced by nitwit.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

twit definition


  1. n.
    a nervous or frantic state. : The twit I was in made me seem sort of silly, I'm afraid.
  2. n.
    a stupid person. (Also a term of address.) : What a yuppie twit!
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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