Teen is an abbreviation of teenager, an adolescent between the ages of thirteen and nineteen, so-called because all of these ages end in the suffix -teen.
Tween is a combination of teen and between, it describes the ages of older children who are not yet teens. Generally, the ages ten through twelve are considered the tween years, but some sources consider tweens to be as young as eight.
Tween is a term used by J.R.R. Tolkien in his first “Lord of the Rings” novel to refer to Hobbits in their twenties. Since Hobbits were not rational adults until the age of thirty-three, one may consider Hobbit tweenhood analogous to human tweenhood.
An older use of the word ‘tween employs an apostrophe to signify the missing prefis, be-. ‘Tween is mostly found in older literature and in poetry.
Transgender teen takes her story to TV in ‘I Am Jazz’ (The Houston Chronicle)
A 16-year-old Muncie youth accused of fatally shooting another teen has been waived into adult court. (The Star Press)
High school teachers can read popular teen books like, “Paper Towns” by John Green, “Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell and “Splintered” by A.G. Howard this summer. (U.S. News and World Report)
Well, it will tend to make you feel autumnal, turning from a gauzily off-the-wall show like The Adventures of Pete & Pete to the current crop of shiny, metallic tween sitcoms—the tweencoms. (The Atlantic)
A Tennessee tween was killed while playing with fireworks Sunday — an hour after and 500 miles away from a fatal firecracker accident in Michigan. (The Daily News)
Even the shared experience of a mother and daughter watching another tween’s emotional upheaval felt hopeful and healing. (Bismarck Tribune)