This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Spot the frippet: twin.

I'd intended to feature the glorious word twerp today, but find to my disappointment that, apart from the fact that it means ineffectual idiot and was first used in the 1920s, nothing is known about it.

So let's take a word from the same page: twin.

You can have twin people, of course, (and twin twerps)

 but in England at the moment it's much easier to see twin lambs:

Photo by Falcoholiker

 Some of our lambs are wearing plastic macs to protect them from the vicious weather we've been having - though I've yet to see a lamb in a twin set:

Twins are always born at the same time, but according to the twin paradox they are not always the same age. The theory of relativity says that if one twin stays on earth, and the other takes a long trip at very high speeds in a space ship, the travelled one will return to earth younger than his sibling.

Yes, I know: but then I suppose that's why it's called a paradox.

Almost anything that comes in a more-or-less identical pair can be a twin. I understand that there are such things as twin carburettors, for example, though I have only the haziest idea what they might be, or, indeed, why anyone should want one.

Twin beds, however, I've come across; and there are twin towns littered all over the place. I'm not entirely sure what is the point of them, either, but, hey, if they make people happy...

And finally, some good news: a twin bill is not, as an English person might expect, a request to pay for something twice, but a chance to see two films at a cinema in the USA. This one and this one, perhaps.

Spot the frippet: twin. This word comes from the Old English twinn and is related to the Old Norse tvinnr, which means double.


  1. Aren't they fascinating,though? They are often used as a device in thrillers which is not always a good idea!

  2. Ah yes, the good old evil twin device. Occasionally they're mirror-image twins, too, which makes them all the spookier.

    I meant to say in this post that although some fraternal twins look very alike, some identical twins look completely different.

    As you say, it's fascinating.