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This lovely term appeared, slightly differently, in the article Sex in Space in Wired magazine on 18 May 2007: “How do you handle love, sex, romance, heart-break, jealousy, hurt, unrequited longing, crushes, loneliness and twitterpation when you’re 18 months away from Earth and perhaps unsure whether you’ll make it back?”

A film poster for the film Bambi, featuring the word 'twitterpated'.

It refers to the feelings of besottedness you get when you think about your current object of desire. A contributor to the Urban Dictionary defined it as “An enjoyable disorder characterized by feelings of excitement, anticipation, high hopes, recent memories of interludes, giddiness, and physical overstimulation which occur simultaneously when experiencing a new love.”

One stimulus for its current popularity is that it appears in the film Bambi II, following on its invention in the original Bambi of 1942, in which Friend Owl says, “Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime.” When the film first came out, the Oakland Tribune remarked that “‘Twitterpated’ is perhaps the best adjective coined by Hollywood since the pixilated sisters were invented for ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.’”

It also shows signs of becoming accepted, at least in the short term, as a mildly derogatory term for those obsessive communicators who use the online medium Twitter to tell their friends every small thing they’re doing with their day.

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 2 Jun. 2007

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-twi1.htm
Last modified: 2 June 2007.