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paired with tweedledee to signify two things or persons nearly alike, differing in name, 1725, coined by English poet John Byrom (1692-1767) in his satire "On the Feud Between Handel and Bononcini," a couple of competing musicians, from tweedle "to sing, to whistle" (1680s), of imitative origin. The -dum and -dee perhaps suggest low and high sounds respectively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Examples from the Web for tweedledum
Historical Examples
  • It had been only the tweedledum and tweedledee of the law that had saved him the first time.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • "Grannie, darling," said Joyce with an agonized look at tweedledum.

    Thorley Weir

    E. F. (Edward Frederic) Benson
  • To the ears of Mop and Dop it was all tweedledum and tweedledee.

    Mount Royal, Volume 2 of 3 Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • tweedledum, because he wrote the other with more e's (ease).

    The Handbook of Conundrums Edith B. Ordway
  • You're just like tweedledum and Tweedledee, and you seem to quarrel just the same as they did.

    Concerning Sally William John Hopkins
  • In either case, it is merely a change from tweedledum to Tweedledee.

  • "Tweedledee, in other words, instead of tweedledum," said Uncle Charlie.

    Emmy Lou's Road to Grace George Madden Martin
  • Strange all this difference should be 'Twixt tweedledum and Tweedledee.

  • The difference between the two is by no means a case of tweedledum and tweedledee.

  • She's not going to have that tweedledum young parson, surely?

    The American Senator

    Anthony Trollope

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