WordPress tells me that my blog reached its first birthday today, and to celebrate I’m going off on a tangent and talking about something totally unrelated: I’m taking a trip down memory lane to revisit a familiar word from my childhood………….twitten.

According to Wikipedia, “twitten is a Sussex dialect word, used in both East and West Sussex, for a path or alleyway”.

In terms of its origin, the Oxford Dictionaries, believes it to be from “the early 19th century: perhaps related to Low German twiete ‘alley, lane'”.

A twitten in Lewes, East Sussex

A twitten in Lewes, East Sussex

Unfamiliar to people outside of Sussex, questions about it’s meaning pop up on forums and blogs from time to time; there are so many twittens in Brighton they even produced a map:

Twitten Map

However, as usually happens over time, the meaning has morphed with technology and, according to the Urban Dictionary, twitten can mean “being smitten by someone you know only through following them on Twitter”.

The modern meaning doesn’t work for me though, and the word will always take me back to those idyllic days of early childhood when, as a child of about 4 or 5 years old, I would race ahead of my mum down a particular twitten in Sidley which led to the street that my friend Dawn Styles lived in.  I found these alleyways so exciting at such a young age.

Like children everywhere I used to enjoy finding places to hide when walking into town so that I could jump out and surprise my mum when she walked by: having had my own children do the same to me, it immediately dawned on me that my mum was feigning her surprise and shock at my sudden appearance from nowhere.  I truly believed it to be real at the time; such is the innocence of a young child.  No doubt my children will realise my deception when they repeat the experience with their offspring.

Walking down the hill to Sevenoaks station this morning, I found one such hiding place: being on my own and perhaps a little too old to jump out and surprise anyone anyway, I chose to write about it instead.

Happy birthday little blog.


The sight of these steps transported me back to those idyllic days of early childhood