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tit1

[tit]
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noun
  1. a titmouse.
  2. any of various other small birds.
  3. Archaic. a girl or young woman; hussy.
  4. Archaic. a small or poor horse; nag.
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Origin of tit1

1540–50; representing Middle English tite- (in titemose titmouse); cognate with Norwegian tite titmouse; akin to Old Norse tittr tack, pin. See tit2

tit2

[tit]
noun
  1. a teat.
  2. Slang: Vulgar. a breast.
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Origin of tit2

before 1100; Middle English titte, Old English titt; cognate with Middle Low German, Middle Dutch titte, German Zitze, Norwegian titta; akin to tit1

tit3

[tit]
noun
  1. tit for tat.
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Origin of tit3

perhaps variant of tip4
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tits

Historical Examples

  • Tits are arboreal in habits; they seldom descend to the ground.

    Birds of the Indian Hills

    Douglas Dewar

  • Tits are small birds, smaller than sparrows, which usually go about in flocks.

  • Tits are also to be seen in family parties, as are also Jays, Magpies, and Starlings.

  • The Gold-crests are, however, naturally less wary than any of the Tits.

  • The members of the family of Nuthatches and Tits feed for the most part on insects.


British Dictionary definitions for tits

tit1

noun
  1. any of numerous small active Old World songbirds of the family Paridae (titmice), esp those of the genus Parus (bluetit, great tit, etc). They have a short bill and feed on insects and seeds
  2. any of various similar small birds
  3. archaic, or dialect a worthless or worn-out horse; nag
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Word Origin

C16: perhaps of imitative origin, applied to small animate or inanimate objects; compare Icelandic tittr pin

tit2

noun
  1. slang a female breast
  2. a teat or nipple
  3. derogatory a girl or young woman
  4. slang a despicable or unpleasant person: often used as a term of address
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Word Origin

Old English titt; related to Middle Low German title, Norwegian titta
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for tits

tit

n.1

"breast," Old English titt (a variant of teat). But the modern slang tits (plural), attested from 1928, seems to be a recent reinvention from teat, used without awareness that it is a throwback to the original form. Titty, however, is on record from 1746 as "a dial. and nursery diminutive of teat."

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tit

n.2

1540s, "any small animal or object" (as in compound forms such as titmouse, tomtit, etc.); also used of small horses. Similar words in related senses are found in Scandinavian (cf. Icelandic tittr, Norwegian tita "a little bird"), but the connection and origin are obscure; perhaps, as OED suggests, the word is merely suggestive of something small. Used figuratively of persons after 1734, but earlier for "a girl or young woman," usually in deprecatory sense of "a hussy, minx" (1590s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper