Word Confusion: Repining versus Repinning

Posted January 6, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I was experimenting with creating my own Pinterest pins, and naturally explored a variety of sites for ideas and sizes. And I was horrified at how many of these sites were upset. They kept repining! It made me want to cry for them.

Well, okay, the part I wanted to cry about was the repining, as it’s simply too sad that so many websites aren’t aware of the difference between repenting and attaching. That is what one does with a Pinterest pin. Attach it. Or indulge in the act of repinning. As in to re-attach an interesting picture and pin it to your own board at Pinterest.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Repining Repinning
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

“Repine” courtesy of GeoGraphis

Ilya Répine, L’Ukrainienne, 1875, is in the Musée Pouchkine in Moscow.

“Hemming Jeans” courtesy of the Denimblog

Repinning the hem on your jeans.

Part of Grammar:
Gerund or present participle for repine

Verb, transitive

Third person present verb: repines
Past tense or past participle: repined

Gerund or present participle for repin


Third person present verb: repins
Past tense or past participle: repinned

[Literary] Feel or express discontent


Re-attach or re-fasten with a pin or pins in a specified position
You mustn’t let yourself repine.

Sally is repining the loss of her ice cream cone.

She was repining for the days she spent dancing in the woods.

Oh, darling, there is no use repining after a lost love.

Gain exposure for your page by liking and repinning on a regular basis.

Mary’s repinning the dress now.

Adjective: unrepined, unrepining
Noun: repiner
History of the Word:
Early 16th century from re- meaning again + the verb pine, along the lines of repent. Late Old English pinn, which is related to the Dutch pin meaning pin, peg, from the Latin pinna meaning point, tip, edge.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits

“Never Morning Wore to Evening but Some Heart Did Break” by Walter Langley is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Photographed by DwH1ilq-MsEMwQ at the Google Cultural Institute. This photograph is a derivative, as it was resized in Photoshop.