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Re: Teenager to Teen

Posted by TheFallen on May 22, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Teenager to Teen posted by Clincher1 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.