wee

Definitions

Slang

  • noun urine or an act of urination. A nursery term in use for the last 90 or so years. The word is an invention, probably influenced by pee, ‘wet’, the word ‘wee’, meaning small (as opposed to big jobs), and the sound of urination.
  • verb to urinate. An inoffensive nursery term, often used facetiously by adults.

Origin & History of “wee”

English has two words wee. The older, ‘small’ (OE), was originally a noun, Old English wēg or wēge. this meant ‘weight’, and is closely related to English weigh. Its use in contexts such as a little wee, literally ‘a small weight’, meant that by the 13th century it had shifted semantically to ‘small amount’, but it did not become an adjective until the 15th century. Weeny was derived from it in the 18th century. Wee ‘urine, urinate’ (20th c.) and its reduplication wee-wee (20th c.) are nursery words, and no doubt originated in some sort of fanciful imitation of the sound of urinating.
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