Twee? huh? Kindle’s Built-In Dictionary to the Rescue

photo credit: Chrispl57 via photo pin cc

I’ve always been a voracious reader. One book after the other. It’s important to me to be involved with a book at all times, and so when I finish one, I start another before the end of that very day.

With so many books passing through my hands, I obviously have come across many words that I did not know or were unclear to me.

But with a paper book, I’d usually just guess the word’s meaning through context. I’d glide over it, gathering a general understanding, and make a promise to myself to ‘look it up later.’ (I rarely looked it up later.)

eReaders solve the “later” issue by providing built in dictionaries. On a Kindle, you simply select the word you don’t know and the definition appears on the bottom of the screen. The same is true for any word you come across on an iPad in the Kindle app. Other eReaders also supply built in dictionaries.

I love the built-in dictionary! It is wonderful. My most recent example of using it occurred last evening (which gave me the idea for this blog post). I was reading from a current book, “The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarty, and I came across this passage:

Twee? Huh? I admit … I have never, ever come across this word before. Ever. Never.

This is a great example of a word I was not willing to “let go” and to just pick up the meaning through context. I needed to know, and I needed to know now.

But I was also comfortably tucked in bed, covers in place just right, and pillows bunched perfectly about my head. A great demonstration of the wonderful-ness of a built-in dictionary. I simply selected the word, right within the story, and learned what I did not know. Hardly an interruption. I learned about “twee” and kept right on reading. No muss, no fuss.

Do you know “twee?” Is it obscure or is this just an example of another gap in my knowledge?


15 thoughts on “Twee? huh? Kindle’s Built-In Dictionary to the Rescue

  1. Twee…that is a new word for me. I love the Kindle technology. I can also highlight a section of the text. I love this feature. With a paper book, I would mark it up with a highlighter. Now, I do not have a messing worn book. Thanks for the post. 🙂

  2. I love it when a word has a totally different meaning in another language. I am not familiar with the English “twee” but in Afrikaans “twee” means “two”.

    • That’s so interesting! I love how meanings change across languages. However, in this case, I’m an English speaker and I never, ever heard of “twee” 🙂

  3. I am British. It is always fascinating to hear of words here not used elsewhere. We know an elevator is a lift, we know a sidewalk is a pavement (though sidewalk is a more sensible word for it) but I heard the US does not use the word “fortnight”.

    Here is a Scots dialect word for you: “Douce”. It does not have a precise English equivalent.

    • You’re right, I’ve never heard anyone use the word “fortnight”. I agree with you …. it is fascinating to hear words used in one place and not the other. My first trip to England I was thrilled just to see a sign that said “Lifts” ! After that London experience, my husband has permanently adopted “crisps” instead of potato chips in his vocabulary ; )

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