Monday, October 13, 2008

What is a “Twink”?

This question recently came up on a list I’m on, and one person was tickled enough by it that he suggested I “publish” it.  By your command, edited for blogability…
It’s shorthand for “Twinkie&rdquo — which we all know is golden sponge cake with cream filling, light and fluffy and full of preservatives and pretty much nutrition free, but (to some people) oh so yummy.

Ergo, a “twink&rdquo as a person is light and fluffy and full of cream (and often blond, and usually gay), without a lot of substance to him, but (to some people) oh so yummy.  A male airhead, like, you know?  (And I’m sure that somewhere, female twinks are referenced, too.  Probably letter-shifted to “twynks”.)

It used to be almost always a derogatory term, but these days, I gather it’s a mark of pride for some boys.  (It’s still a negative term in my book, though.  I never use it as a favorable reference.)

Updated on May 3, 2010:
I recently read more details on the origin of the term — when it was first used, whether it’s connected to the Hostess treat, etc. — but the details were inconclusive.  One of the more intriguing connections was to a British perm lotion called Twink, which inspired Britsh psychedelic musician John Charles Adler to adopt “Twink” as his stage name.  Adler was involved in bands called The Faries and the Pink Faries; draw your own conclusions.

Another possible origin for the word might relate to stars, as in “Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”  A twinkling star appears insubstantial and not stable.

Updated on February 11, 2011
Retroactively added another version of the definition to the blog, merging in from my older blog.  Complete with a nasty exchange from someone who misinterpreted humor for hatred.