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Re: Teenager to Teen

Posted by Janes_kid on May 22, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Teenager to Teen posted by TheFallen on May 22, 2003

: : : : Does anyone know when the word "teenager" became simply "teen"? I still use the former, which indicates that I'm not the latter! I know the word "teenager" itself was coined in the 1920's by a sociologist.

: : : : I first noticed the transition about two years ago when I heard a radio commercial in which an actor putting on an "old guy" voice used the phrase "when I was a teen". No old guy I've yet met would say that!

: : : : Thanks...

: : : They might know the answer to that at askoxford.com (I surely don't).

: : I would fairly tentatively suggest that in US the word "teen" has always been used whereas in UK "teenager" has been and still is the consistent usage

: On reflection, I'd support the above entirely. The UK simply doesn't use the word "teen", except perhaps adjectivally in combinations borrowed from the US - "teen idol", "teen princess" etc. In these rare cases, "teen" definitely has an implied dismissive connotation over here.

M-W.com says teen for teenager dates to 1818, without explanation. There is a word "teen" with several meanings that dates back to the 14th century. Ironically this word has definitions like grief, misery, affliction. Not unlike some peoples definitions of teenager.