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tween-aged

adjective; blending and clipping
at an age between childhood and teenage years. The columnist utilized tween-aged as a novel formation to describe a particular age range distinct from children and teenagers. Because of the finite word stock, the writer felt compelled to create a certain word to classify this unnamed group of children. This appears to give youth between the ages of nine and thirteen a certain new identity or affiliation because they certainly do not consider themselves to be children and are not old enough to be teenagers. The author aptly combined between and age to play on the resemblance to the word teenage. Because ‘tween-aged’ rhymes and sounds like ‘teenaged’, the author is making a play on words that pokes fun and induces a light-hearted, childish tone to the article aimed toward youth. By maintaining a whimsical tone in using tween-aged, the author is able to engage the audience with slang, popular terms. Tween-aged appears to mock the children who are between childhood and teenage years. ‘Between’, used in tween-aged, is a part of a spatial metaphor that does not literally describe location. Instead, between is used metaphorically to describe a child’s abstract, metaphorical place in time as being in between two stages in life. They are no longer children yet they are not teenagers. As a result, they are in an ambiguous, undefined age range aptly dubbed the tween-aged years.
 
Graphic icon and darling of tween-aged girls everywhere, Julius is celebrating his 10th birthday today.
Etymology : Blending and clipping of (be)tween and aged
Source : Houston Chronicle
Last modified: 10 June 2008


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