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twit1

[twit] /twɪt/
verb (used with object), twitted, twitting.
1.
to taunt, tease, ridicule, etc., with reference to anything embarrassing; gibe at.
Synonyms: jeer at, mock, insult, deride.
2.
to reproach or upbraid.
noun
3.
an act of twitting.
4.
a derisive reproach; taunt; gibe.
Origin of twit1
1520-1530
1520-30; aphetic variant of obsolete atwite, Middle English atwiten, Old English ætwītan to taunt, equivalent to æt- at1 + wītan to blame
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for twitting
Historical Examples
  • He knocked me down with the davit-block, for twitting him about that girl of his, that was drowned swimming after him.

    Rattlin the Reefer Edward Howard
  • Now they regained their sway over him by twitting him about being afraid of his wife.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Stop nagging, twitting, insinuating, suspecting those whose love you wish to hold.

    Supreme Personality Delmer Eugene Croft
  • In 1804 Beethoven wrote him a twitting allusion to these girls.

  • On the rear platform a cheery young mechanic was twitting the conductor and occasionally making a remark to a fresh passenger.

    Toasts William Pittenger
  • I am making no complaint of the sly satisfaction which Alice seemingly takes in twitting me with my weakness.

    The House Eugene Field
  • Hell be twitting me of how I robbed him, when I had no more to do with the loss of his money thanthan you did.

    Jack Ranger's Gun Club Clarence Young
  • These wretches are twitting me with what they gave me before—before—oh Amal, you understand me?'

    Hypatia Charles Kingsley
  • Yet in my heart of hearts that afternoon I had been twitting Mr Crimble for saying his prayers!

    Memoirs of a Midget Walter de la Mare
  • I retorted that I'd concede him a place among the mushrooms—fancy my twitting any one of mushroomery!

    Yellowstone Nights Herbert Quick
British Dictionary definitions for twitting

twit1

/twɪt/
verb twits, twitting, twitted
1.
(transitive) to tease, taunt, or reproach, often in jest
noun
2.
(US & Canadian, informal) a nervous or excitable state
3.
(rare) a reproach; taunt
Word Origin
Old English ætwītan, from æt against + wītan to accuse; related to Old High German wīzan to punish

twit2

/twɪt/
noun
1.
(informal, mainly Brit) a foolish or stupid person; idiot
Word Origin
C19: from twit1 (originally in the sense: a person given to twitting)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for twitting

twit

v.

1520s, shortened form of atwite, from Old English ætwitan "to blame, reproach," from æt "at" + witan "to blame," from Proto-Germanic *witanan (cf. Old English wite, Old Saxon witi, Old Norse viti "punishment, torture;" Old High German wizzi "punishment," wizan "to punish;" Dutch verwijten, Old High German firwizan, German verweisen "to reproach, reprove," Gothic fraweitan "to avenge"), from PIE root *weid- "to see" (see vision). For sense evolution, cf. Latin animadvertere, literally "to give heed to, observe," later "to chastise, censure, punish."

n.

"foolish, stupid and ineffectual person," 1934, British slang, popular 1950s-60s, crossed over to U.S. with British sitcoms. It probably developed from twit (v.) in the sense of "reproach," but it may be influenced by nitwit.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for twitting

twist slowly in the wind

verb phrase

To suffer protracted humiliation, obloquy, regret, etc: The second mistake was to let Sherrill twist slowly in the wind/ just letting you twist slowly, slowly in the wind

[1973+; perhaps coined by John Ehrlichman, an aide of President Richard Nixon, fr the gruesome image of a hanging body]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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12
14
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