Word Confusion: Twined versus Twinned

Posted October 20, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

This is one of those -ed endings you may want to explore more in “-ing and -ed Endings“, and much too typical of writers who have escaped understanding how these endings work.

In this instance, twined indicates wrapped around whereas twinned is always doubled. Hmmm, just like the n.

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.

If you found this post on “Twined versus Twinned” interesting, consider tweeting it to your friends. Subscribe to KD Did It, if you’d like to track this post for future updates.

Return to top

Twined Twinned
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: twine

Ball of Hemp Twine

“Ball of Hemp Twine” by Emilian Robert Vicol (Flickr: Ball-of-Hemp-Twine_31614-480×360) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Two twin beds in a narrow room with orange satin bedspreads and shams

“Twin Room” by Hawksapsan (My Way Hotel) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or via GFDL], Wikimedia Commons

Not much room between these two twin beds!

Part of Grammar:
Past tense for twine

Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun
Third person present verb: twines
Past participle: twined
Gerund or present participle: twining

Past tense for twin

Adjective; Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: twins
Past tense or past participle: twinned
Gerund or present participle: twinning

Strong thread or string consisting of two or more strands of hemp, cotton, or nylon twisted together

An act of twining, twisting, or interweaving

A coiled or twisted object or part; convolution

A twist or turn in anything

A knot or tangle

Verb, intransitive:
Cause to wind or spiral round something

  • [No object; of a plant] Grow so as to spiral around a support
  • Twist itself in spirals (usually followed by about, around, etc.)

To wind in a sinuous or meandering course
To separate

  • Part

Verb, transitive:
Cause to wind or spiral round something

  • Interlace

To separate

  • Part
[Of a crystal] That is a composite consisting of two (or sometimes more) parts that are reversed in orientation with respect to each other (typically by reflection in a particular plane)

Forming, or being one of, a pair born at one birth

  • Forming a matching, complementary, or closely connected pair
  • [Botany] Growing in pairs
  • [Of a bedroom] Containing two single beds
  • [Of a crystal] Twinned

One of two children or animals born at the same birth

  • A person or thing that is exactly like another
  • [Astronomy, Astrology] The zodiacal sign or constellation Gemini

Something containing or consisting of two matching or corresponding parts, in particular:

  • A twin-bedded room
  • A twin-engined aircraft
  • A twinned crystal

Verb, intransitive
To give birth to twins

To be paired or coupled

[Scottish] Twine

Verb, transitive
To bring together in close relationship

  • Pair
  • Couple

To furnish a counterpart to or a replica of

  • Match

[Informal] To divide or convert into two, parts, similar items, etc.

[Informal] To link or combine with

[Crystallography] To form into a twin

[Obsolete] To give birth to as twins

[Scottish] Twine

Jamie, grab some twine from the garage.

Used to be, the post office required you to use twine to package up box mail.

We’ll need a ball of twine.

Verb, intransitive:
Runner beans twined around canes.

Strangling vines twined about the tree.

Verb, transitive:
She twined her arms around his neck.

A spray of jasmine was twined in her hair.

These symmetrical intergrowths of crystals are called twinned crystals.

There was a bruise on his cheek, twinned to mine.

The girls have a twinned room.

“A twinned crystal is an aggregate in which different domains are joined together according to a specific symmetry operation: the twin law” (Acta Crystallographica Section D).

Verb, intransitive
Being twinned with a foreign school encourages cross-cultural exchanges of knowledge, fosters students’ intercultural awareness, and improves their communication skills (Wikipedia).

Verb, transitive
The old movie palace will be twinned, making two smaller theaters.

The new grocery store is twinned with a restaurant.

The company twinned its core business of brewing with that of distilling.

Crystal twinning occurs when two separate crystals share some of the same crystal lattice points in a symmetrical manner (Wikipedia).

Twinning between 4 to 8 days after fertilization typically results in monochorionic-diamnioti — identical — twins that have their own amniotic sacs but share the placenta and chorionic sac.

Adjective: twineable
Noun: twiner
History of the Word:
Old English twīn, meaning thread, linen, from the Germanic base of twi-, or two
Related to Dutch twijn.
Late Old English twinn, meaning double, from twi-, or two
Related to Old Norse tvinnr.
Current verb senses date from late Middle English.

Return to top

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

Pinterest Photo Credits

The landscape, “Huémoz in Winter”, is Emmanuelle Adjoa Bessi’s own work [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons, and “Twine Spheres – DIY” is by Victoria at Mucho Crafts.