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twerp

or twirp

[twurp]
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noun Slang.
  1. an insignificant or despicable fellow: Her father thinks her boyfriend is just a twerp.
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Origin of twerp

First recorded in 1920–25; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for twerp

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I've been running this twerp back to his masters to see where he went.

    Little Brother

    Cory Doctorow


British Dictionary definitions for twerp

twerp

twirp

noun
  1. informal a silly, weak-minded, or contemptible person
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Derived Formstwerpy or twirpy, adjective

Word Origin

C20: of unknown origin
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 twerp

n.

of unknown origin; the "Dictionary of American Slang" gives a first reference of 1874 (but without citation), which, if correct, would rule out the usual theory that it is from the proper name of T.W. Earp, a student at Oxford c.1911, who kindled wrath "in the hearts of the rugger-playing stalwarts at Oxford, when he was president of the Union, by being the last, most charming, and wittiest of the 'decadents.' " [Rawson]

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper