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The Word Detective says 'The origin of the word "quirk" itself is, unfortunately, a mystery, but we do know that it first appeared in English around 1565 meaning "a verbal trick" or "an evasion." In "Much Ado About Nothing" (1599), Shakespeare used "quirk" to mean "a witty quip," and by "Twelfth Night," written in 1601, he was using it in our modern sense to mean "a peculiarity of behavior."

The underlying sense of a "quirk" being "a sudden turn or abnormality" subsequently led to its being used as a name for a variety of small, odd things, including a sudden curve or flourish in a drawing, a small, regular pattern in stockings, and, as of 1688, that little bit of fabric between the fingers of a glove.' Link to source 'The Word Detective' JasonRich 12:23, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

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