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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
1520-1530
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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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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

twit

noun

A contemptible and insignificant person; a trivial idiot: Craig Stevens as her twit of a husband/ I've got the authorization, you fucking twit

[1934+; origin unknown; rapidly adopted in the 1970s, perhaps because of the popularity of the British television series Monty Python's Flying Circus, on which the term was often employed]


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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