By in Random

Not A Titter O Wit

Have You Heard Of This?

I don't know whether others would know what "A Titter Of Wit" means or whether it is just a Northern Ireland expression or maybe even an Irish expression, as in the whole of the island of Ireland.

Wit = Wise or Sensible

The word "wit" here does NOT mean funny or witty: it has nothing to do with this meaning. It is nearer the meaning of wit in "to have your wits about you". But it actually refers to common sense.

A Titter

And no, this does NOT refer to a nervous laugh or suppressed giggle, it means "a small amount" or "some". So someone with "A Titter Of Wit", would be someone with some commonsense.

Not A Titter Of Wit

This is used for someone with no commonsense. I found myself using it today in relation to discussing someone's actions, which I didn't think used commonsense. The person to whom I was speaking said she had often found the same with very intelligent people, they didn't have a titter of wit.

All Brains And No Wisdom

Do you know someone like this? Very brainy or intelligent but no commonsense? Unfortunately, I do. I knew of one person who gained a masters degree in Accountancy and ended up selling firewood from the back of a trailer. This is not to say there is anything wrong with that or that people with degrees shouldn't do it. It was just that despite all his book learning, he was unable to keep a job simply because he lacked any kind of commonsense and he kept getting sacked. He could drive, he had a trailer and he was able to chop wood, so that was where he ended up. At least he had a job! Presumably, he also knew how to fill in his tax returns but somehow, I doubt it because that person did not have a titter of wit!

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VinceSummers wrote on September 23, 2017, 11:28 AM

I've never heard the expression, Meg, so I can't speak of its origin or its geography. The explanation, decidedly, is something I am all to familiar with. Only I might say it this way: People are IDIOTS.

melody23 wrote on September 26, 2017, 8:54 AM

My mother often says this of me! She thinks I have absolutely no common sense whatsoever and is convinced its because, as she puts it 'your so smart' she totally agrees with the thought that the more intelligent you are the less common sense you have. I disagree with just about everything she says, I really am not that smart, I just like learning and have a decent memory to retain the information and I wouldn't say I have no common sense, maybe just not as much as some other people have.

MegL wrote on September 26, 2017, 3:43 PM

I think anyone who does nursing HAS to have commonsense! And many of the posts you have made have demonstrated that.

melody23 wrote on September 26, 2017, 3:57 PM

My mother disagrees lol she often says I'm 'book smart' which I guess in a way is true

Angeles wrote on September 30, 2017, 3:57 PM

So interesting! I haven't got a lot of English vocabulary with me, (I¡m a Spanish speaker), so that's why I've found your article so interesting! And, to answer your question, yes. I've met someone like that in the past!

MegL wrote on September 30, 2017, 6:24 PM

I think the phrase "not a titter o' wit" is probably used only in Northern Ireland but there are probably similar phrases in most languages. I am glad you found it interesting.