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The meaning and origin of the expression: Wee-wee


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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Wee-wee'?

A nursery euphemism for urine or urination.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Wee-wee'?

Eric Partridge records this in his A Dictionary of Slang, 1937, as "Wee-wee, a urination; esp. do a wee-wee" and considers it to be late 19th century.

Reduplications that are formed from repeating words like this are symptomatic of the infantile way that youngsters used to be spoken to; for example, choo-choo, goody-goody etc. This fashion is changing rather and such terms are becoming less commonly used.

Wee, and Wee-wee, may well be variant of pee. That itself is a jokey euphemism and appears to derive from the 'P' in p***. Shakespeare seems to use it that way in Twelfth Night, 1602:

"By my life, this is my lady's hand: these be her very C's, her U's, and her T's, and thus makes she her great P's."

Gone for a PNever shy of recycling a good old joke, Talbot Rothwell, the screenwriter of most of the Carry On series of films, used this one again in Carry On Camping. A sign on a field gate says 'All asses must be shown'. Sid James approaches the gate:

Are you the owner of this site?
Where is he?
Gone for a P.

See other reduplicated phrases.

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