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Etymology 1[edit]

twirl +‎ -y


twirly (comparative twirlier, superlative twirliest)

  1. coiled or curly

Etymology 2[edit]

Blend of too +‎ early from the question "Am I too early [to use my pass]?" frequently asked of bus drivers, etc. by holders of OAP/senior citizen or similar travel passes that are not valid before a certain time (usually 9:30am).


twirly (plural twirlies)

  1. (Britain, Ireland, slang, sometimes derogatory) an old age pensioner or other elderly person, especially one using public transport.
    • 1986, Working Group on Violence to Road Passenger Transport Staff, Assaults on bus staff and measures to prevent such assaults[1], HMSO, page 51:
      Some passengers do try to use passes fraudulently and the time restriction on OAP passes can sometimes lead to arguments (the so-called "twirlies" — "Am I too early?") but seldom to assaults.
    • 1986, Rick Steves, Great Britain in 22 days: a step-by-step guide and travel itinerary, →ISBN, page 52:
      These are a great hit with "Twirlies" (senior citizens, infamous for using their bus passes "too-early" before rush hour fades).
    • 2007 May 14, Daisy Dart, “Re: Passengers say the stupidest things”, in Bus drivers canteen[2] (Usenet), message-ID <>:
      I once had a twirly get on my bus, well I have had several hundred actually but that's beside the point!
    • 2008, Maureen Harvey, “5 The Breakthrough”, in Pure Evil - How Tracie Andrews murdered my son, deceived the nation and sentenced me to a life of pain and misery, →ISBN:
      He'd been so desperate to go to the toilet that he'd parked the bus, locked the twirlies on it and run through the gully home!