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

Examples from the Web for tweedledum

Historical Examples of tweedledum

  • 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).

  • You're just like Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and you seem to quarrel just the same as they did.

    Concerning Sally

    William John Hopkins