One of those words that seems to have entered the casual vocabulary of a surprising number of English people without having passed through the exit filters of the mainstream media, twunt is a term of abuse born out of an unholy merger of the words twat and cunt.

A source on suggests that this word was invented in the year 2000 by Chris Morris, for the Channel Four TV series Jam. I, however, have privileged inside information on this topic, having independently invented and defined this word in the summer of 1998 during a particularly hilarious and stoned evening with my housemates. Obviously, from its humble beginnings my beloved original swear word crept slowly outwards through friends, then friends of friends, then friends of friends of friends, until some twunt nicked it for his until-then-idea-free comedy series.

However, in the way of these things, the original definition has not survived, which lends support to the idea of re-invention. Obviously, twunt was a word so choice that it was simply waiting to happen, floating around in the ether waiting for minds to fall into, or out of. That summer, I had defined twunt as a particularly horrible, not to mention physically impossible sexual act which I will refrain from describing here. However, since then it has come to take on a simpler and less tightly-defined meaning. I can do no better than quote this passage from the BBC h2g2 pages:

"To tie down a strict definition of 'Twunt' is difficult. The optimist will look at a glass and say it's half full; the pessimist will say it's half empty; the twunt will wander past obliviously, knock the glass over and then say that you shouldn't have left it there in the first place. Twunts aren't necessarily stupid, but they often take pride in their ignorance. They aren't necessarily nasty, just painfully unaware of their environment. A sage once said 'Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men'. Twunts love the rules and the status quo, and a classic twunt trait is to argue 'But that's how we've always done it' in the face of any change."

Alternative definitions or nuances abound, and you can easily find many of these through Google. For my part, I am reconciled to the idea that my baby is all growed up and is no longer the same beautiful child that once I shaped; I may not like the crude adult she is becoming, but I must respect her freedom. However, when I hear people use the word in conversation with me, thinking they are being all 'hip' and 'trendy' because they have their ear to the pop-cultural ground, I only have one thing to say.


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