Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Twitterpated

twitterpated [twit-er-pey-tid]

(informal) Love-struck, besotted; infatuated, obsessed. Also: excited, thrilled.


On the first date, he did this work that he does with these essential forms on me because I had shown up sort of twitterpated and he said, 'Oh, I have this kind of parlor trick,' and he did it and I got it. (Vicki Larson, Fairfax authors Anne Lamott and Neal Allen manage writing, marriage, Marin Independent Journal, May 2021)

As someone who’s been playing games for more than 30 years, I understand the excitement. I get twitterpated seeing promotional art showing Zelda, Solid Snake, Mario, Pac-Man, Peach, and rows of other characters from both my childhood and adulthood grouped together. (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Thoughts from a gamer who doesn't quite get it , The Economist, December 2018)

And here it is, the first and original use, in Bambi...


1942, apparently first attested in the Walt Disney movie Bambi</em> (there also was a song by that name but it was not in the studio release of the film), a past-participle adjective formed from twitter in the 'tremulous excitement' noun sense (1670s) + pate 'head' (Online Etymology Dictionary)

This lovely term appeared, slightly differently, in the article Sex in Space in Wired magazine on 18 May 2007: "How do you handle love, sex, romance, heart-break, jealousy, hurt, unrequited longing, crushes, loneliness and twitterpation when you’re 18 months away from Earth and perhaps unsure whether you’ll make it back?"
It refers to the feelings of besottedness you get when you think about your current object of desire. A contributor to the Urban Dictionary defined it as "An enjoyable disorder characterized by feelings of excitement, anticipation, high hopes, recent memories of interludes, giddiness, and physical overstimulation which occur simultaneously when experiencing a new love."
One stimulus for its current popularity is that it appears in the film Bambi II, following on its invention in the original Bambi of 1942, in which Friend Owl says, "Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime." When the film first came out, the Oakland Tribune remarked that "Twitterpated is perhaps the best adjective coined by Hollywood since the pixilated sisters were invented for ‘Mr Deeds Goes to Town'."
It also shows signs of becoming accepted, at least in the short term, as a mildly derogatory term for those obsessive communicators who use the online medium Twitter to tell their friends every small thing they’re doing with their day. (World Wide Words)

Tags: adjective, informal, modern, t, wordsmith: sallymn

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