This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sunday Rest: tweeny. Word Not To Use Today.

Tweeny is a horrible whiny sort of a label to stick on someone. It has echoes of twee, for one thing, but worse still this dreadful word suggests that a tweeny is a between-person: not smart enough to be a parlour maid, and not quite clever enough to be a cook; not quite cute enough to be teeny, and not quite independent enough to be a teenager

But tweenies are hugely, vitally important. Who is to relay messages between the cook and the butler when they are not on speaking terms, if not the tweeny?

Who is to serve meals in the servants' hall?

A 'Tweeny' servant who worked seven days a week, from 5am until 10pm, and was paid £13 a year.

And, most importantly of all, who is to read the most magnificent children's books in the world?

Are people ever more interesting than when they're aged eight to twelve?

Not as far as I've noticed. What about you?

Word Not To Use Today: tweeny. This word is now mostly used by people trying to sell things to young people, but it was first made up by JRR Tolkien in the late 1930s to describe irresponsible hobbits between the ages of twenty and thirty three.

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