Etymology
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tweak (v.)
"pinch, pluck, twist," usually to the nose, c. 1600, probably from Middle English twikken "to draw, tug, pluck" (mid-15c.), from Old English twiccian "to pluck," of obscure origin; perhaps related to twitch. Meaning "to make fine adjustments" is attested from 1966. Related: Tweaked; tweaking.
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tweak (n.)
c. 1600, "a twitch, a pluck," from tweak (v.). As "a fine adjustment" by 1989.
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twitch (v.)
late 12c., to-twic-chen "pull apart with a quick jerk," related to Old English twiccian "to pluck, gather, catch hold of," from Proto-Germanic *twikjon- (source also of Low German twicken, Dutch twikken, Old High German gizwickan, German zwicken "to pinch, tweak"). Related: Twitched; twitching.
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twinge (n.)
1540s, "a pinch, a nipping," from obsolete verb twinge "to pinch, tweak," from Old English twengan "to pinch," from Proto-Germanic *twangjan (source also of Old Frisian thwinga, Old Norse þvinga, Danish tvinge, Dutch dwingen, Old High German thwingan, German zwingen "to compel, force"), from PIE *twengh- "to press in on" (see thong). Meaning "sharp, sudden minor pain" is recorded from c. 1600. Figurative sense (with reference to shame, remorse, etc.) is recorded from 1620s.
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