Timey wimey? (derivation)


New Member
Italian - Italy
Timey wimey <-----Topic added to post by moderator (Florentia52)----->

Hi guys! As you may have noticed from the title, I have a question about a quite famous phrase from Doctor Who.;)
All the words in this phrase can be considered as adjectives derivated from other words:

wibbly wobbly (adj.)< to wibble (and) wobble (verb)
timey (adj., though it seems rather unusual to me. However it's time+ -y) < time (noun)

But what about "wimey"? I can't find any similar entry in the dictionary...

Any help? Thank you!
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Under what circumstances does the character say "Timey wimey?" Which character says it? What are the lines before and after this one? (You may quote up to four total.)


    New Member
    Italian - Italy
    I'm sorry, I forgot the context. The Doctor (who is a time traveller) is trying to explain how time and time travel work. The whole quotation is:

    "People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff."


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    It's a completely meaningless reduplication; the effect is like a baby's speech, or like an adult speaks to a baby (compare "cuddly-wuddly").

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's just wiffley-waffley. Sometimes such phrases are standard or almost standard, like wibbly-wobbly, lovey-dovey, wishy-washy, walkie-talkie, touchie-feelie, but other times we make them up as we go along.
    There are different reasons for using words this way, but sometimes there's no reason except whimsy- pimmsy. That would mean on a whim after having too much Pimms to drink
    Adding a 'w' makes it sound like baby talk and rather soothing or humorous. We might say toothy-woovvy to a child instead of 'tooth' or brekky-wekky for 'breakfast'.


    New Member
    Italian - Italy
    Thank you for your answers, everyone!
    So basically it has no real meaning nor it is a derivation from another word, am I right? It's just an invented phrase to make the whole sound childish and humorous.
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