• noun a non-conformist, eccentric, a beatnik or hippy. The terms have been used, typically by disapproving adults, since the end of the 1950s; weirdie was the standard British version (‘bearded weirdie’ was an elaboration) until about 1966 when the American equivalent weirdo became more prevalent. The standard English word ‘weird’ (from the Old English wyrd, meaning fate) not only describes the appearance and behaviour of ‘deviants’ but was a vogue word among beatniks themselves, meaning impressive and acceptable as well as bizarre.