My new friend Karen introduced me to a new word: * twitterpated *. We were discussing flutterbys vs. butterflies and somehow twitterpated was suddenly in context for the conversation. I don’t know how I went through four decades and never heard of this charming word. Urban Dictionary has 17 definitions for twitterpated; my favorite is “that happy, jumpy feeling you get that causes you to smile uncontrollably.”
Here’s a quote from Bambi, an early cinematic proponent of twitterpatedness:
Flower: [about two birds fluttering around] Well! What’s the matter with them?
Thumper: Why are they acting that way?
Friend Owl: Why, don’t you know? They’re twitterpated.
Flower, Bambi, Thumper: Twitterpated?
Friend Owl: Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You’re walking along, minding your own business. You’re looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head’s in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you’re walking on air. And then you know what? You’re knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!
Thumper: Gosh, that’s awful.
Flower: Gee whiz.
Friend Owl: And that ain’t all. It could happen to anyone, so you’d better be careful.
[points at Bambi]
Friend Owl: It could happen to you…
[points at Thumper]
Friend Owl: … or you, or even…
[Flower looks at Owl shyly]
Friend Owl: Yes, it could even happen to you!
Thumper: Well, it’s not gonna happen to me.
Bambi: Me neither.
Flower: Me neither.
Ahhh, spring in 1942.
Addictionary offers a different definition of twitterpated, and I am guessing that we are living the first spring where this definition is accurate:
adjective, So distracted by twitter you forgot what you were supposed to be working on.
Ahhh, spring 2009.