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Origin Of “Twerk” Was Created By Germans & What Does Morgan Freeman Think Of The Word?


In descriptions of grinding and the Harlem Shake, twerk occurs with great regularity. The verb means “to move one’s buttocks in a suggestive way.” It has not yet made its way into OED and perhaps never will (let us hope so), but its origin hardly poses a problem: twerk must be a blend of twist (or twitch) and work (or jerk), a close relative of such verbs as squirm (possibly a blend of dialectal squir “to throw with a jerk” and worm) and twirl (? twist + whirl). When blends are coined “in plain sight” — as happened to brunch, motel, and Eurasia — no one has questions about their descent. Nowadays, blending has become a tiresome custom, and the stodgy products of grafting one word on another are usually as transparent as Texaco or Amtrak and equally inspiring. But no one can prove that twirl is indeed a sum of twist and whirl. Its origin will forever remain “unknown.” Be that as it may, twerk does look like a blend, even though we don’t know who, where, and when launched it into the linguistic space of North America.
The noun designates a rope made of two threads, a twirl, and refers to various distortions. Hence the verb twist “to intertwine; curve; wring.” Especially characteristic are the Germanic congeners of twist: German Zwist ~ Low German twist “quarrel, discord”; Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish also have tvist (the same meaning). Twig “a small shoot of a tree” seems to be akin to some words for “fork.” If this is true, then a twig once denoted a forked branch, an object with two prongs. How it acquired its modern meaning remains unclear. German Zweig does not conjure up a picture of a tiny branch, though it is smaller than an Ast “bough.” (Did Dickens hint to the vicissitudes in the fate of his hero when he called him Twist? After all, it was he, rather than Mr. Bumble, who invented the name.)




He read: "The word twerking has now been added to the Oxford dictionary.

"Here's the definition they gave: To dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner, involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.'"

Freeman then told host Robin Meade: "This is the first time that I've ever heard of it."

Meade replied: "What? That's not true, you said it on the golf course yesterday. I'm pretty sure."

Freeman quipped: "Was I sober?"


SOURCE / Oxford University Press
SOURCE
Tags: morgan freeman, news / news anchors
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