Is it the word "between", but truncated, or a portmanteau of "in between" and "teen"?

  • 2
    If it means tweenager then it's a truncation of a portmanteau word. – Andrew Leach Jul 29 '13 at 6:31
  • Tween is also a word used in computer animation. Here is a definition from About.com: "Tween" is actually short for "in-between", and refers to the creation of successive frames of animation between key frames. animation.about.com/od/glossaryofterms/g/tween_def.htm – Shoe Jul 29 '13 at 9:35
  • @AndrewLeach, Isn't "a truncation of a portmanteau word" also considered a portmanteau? – Pacerier Jun 21 '15 at 17:23
  • Holy thread resurrection, Batman! @Pacerier: if one can be more precise about how a particular portmanteau word is formed, why not be? – Andrew Leach Jun 21 '15 at 17:48

Here's Merriam-Webster's definition of portmanteau:

word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog)

Here's The Free Dictionary's definition of tween:

A child between middle childhood and adolesence, usually between 8 and 12 years old. [Blend of teen and between.]

The OED says tween is short for tween-age, after teen. For tween-age, they say it's an alteration of teenage after 'tween (a form of between).

So, yes, tween can be considered a portmanteau of "[in] between" and "teen".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.