January 13th, 2019

words 6

Sunday Word: Twee

twee [twee]
adjective:
1. British: excessively or affectedly quaint, dainty, or cute

Examples:

Frankfurt was long pitched as a twee German city like Munich, complete with Christmas market and Ebbelwoi (the rather acidic local apple wine). (Frankfurt woos London bankers The Economist)

In a sense, all vintage toys are twee , but I have a personal distaste for Legos that I cannot explain. (Scott Porch, What the Hell Is 'Twee'? A Genre? A Mindset? An Art Form? The Economist)

It turns out that a twee little drawing on the bill made by the waiter also encourages a more generous tip. (Sunday Times, (2013)

Origin:

1900-05; apparently reduced from tweet (perhaps via pronunciation twi? ), mimicking child's pronunciation of sweet (Dictionary.com)

Twee originated in baby talk as an alteration of sweet. In the early 1900s, it was a term of affection, but nowadays British speakers and writers - and, increasingly, Americans as well - use twee for things that have passed beyond agreeable and into the realm of cloying. (Merriam-Webster).