TWSBI: The Correct Pronunciation

TWSBI is everybody's favourite Piston Filling Fountain Pen brand. Their signature product brings a classic pen mechanism to the modern stationery market.

For those who are unfamiliar with the name, you may be wondering just how exactly it is pronounced.

The most common mispronunciation is by spelling it out loud e.g T-W-S-B-I. Whilst this might seem logical, we can all agree that it doesn't roll particularly well off the tongue.

The correct pronunciation is actually very simple.

'Twizz Bee'

I know this to be correct because the story behind the name was told to me by the person who wrote the story.

It begins with the following three characters, written in Simplified Chinese:

'三文堂' or 'San Wen Tang'

The company itself is Taiwanese and has a long rooted history in pen manufacturing. As the business continued to develop, the founder (Jim) decided that they should come up with an English name.

First he took the romanisation of the 3 original Chinese characters 'San Wen Tang' and used the first letter of each word to form the basis of a new name. In this instance the acronym should read SWT, but he decided that by flipping the initials he could create something truly unique.

TWS on its own is not particularly inventive and doesn't say much about the brand other than just a backwards acronym. However, with the addition of the 'B' and the 'I' at the end, the name starts to take shape.

Here's why:

'Bi' is the romanisation of '筆' which is Chinese for pen. If you put the two parts together you essentially get 'TWS Pen'. Not forgetting that TWS is pronounced 'Twizz' you should now be arriving at 'Twizz Pen'.

For those that haven't quite figured out the connection, let's look back at the actual product itself.

TWSBI Vac700R Fountain pen with piston fill mechanism

TWSBI Vac700R Fountain pen with piston fill mechanism

A Piston Fill pen contains a mechanism which requires two simple actions to fill the reservoir with ink. The first is the 'Twist' and the second is the 'Push / Pull'. It is the 'Twisting' motion that gives the brand it's name.

'Twist Bi' a.k.a the Twist Pen!


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