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I am uncertain about the meaning of ヒネた below.

子供の中にヒネた大人を捻じ込んだみてーな口調

I understand ヒネた子供 as a child who acts like an adult but I am not sure what ヒネた大人 means. I think it means an adult who got older, right?

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If it's a quote from a recent work, the author might be using ひねた interchangeably with ひねくれた. In that case, it's more about ill-naturedness than about age. This might be technically a misuse of the word, but a rather common one.

I'm not sure if we can say it's definitely a misuse, though, because there can be a continuity from aging to losing innocence to being cynical to having distorted (or ひねくれた) view of the world.

From a lexicographer's tweet:

https://twitter.com/IIMA_Hiroaki/status/211006532517773313

「◆ひねた子ども」と聞いて、どんな子を思い浮かべるでしょうか。ませた子どもか、ひねくれた子どもか。正解は前者です。でも、ツイッターでは〈ひねた性格の人〉〈ひねた大人に育ち〉〈ひねた目で見る〉などとあって、圧倒的に後者の意味で使っています。辞書に記述してもいいくらい。

The tweet was about the word's usage among Twitter users in 2012, but I think I see the same thing in a wider Japanese speaking population today.

EDIT: It might not be a recent change, actually. It's easy to find examples from 1970s.

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  • Very interesting to see how words are changing over time. Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 16:59
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This ヒネた is from type II or 下一段【しもいちだん】 verb 陳【ひ】ねる, which basically just means "to age, to put on years, to grow older". Used euphemistically and in the past tense / completed aspect (as when talking about a child's manner), it can mean something closer to "to seem older than one's years".

In your sample sentence, I think ヒネた大人 just means "an older adult".

Bilingual (albeit very minimal) entry:

If you can read Japanese, entries at Kotobank for:

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    You probably meant 下段, not 下段. 下二段 verb would have 終止形 = 陳ぬ and 連体形 = 陳ぬる.
    – Arfrever
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 7:35
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    Not sure of the exact context here, but I feel like the meaning is more likely to be this slang meaning: ③〔俗〕ひねくれる。 「ひねた性格を直したい」 [表記]俗に「ヒネる」とも。 Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 13:03
  • @Arfrever - doh! I spend so much time with classical that I brain-farted in writing the post here. I'll fix that. Thanks for the catch! Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 17:29
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi 三省堂国語辞典第八版 Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 22:54
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    I was also confusing ヒネる and ひねくれる... Regardless of which meaning it had, ヒネた大人 would refer to a person who is overly argumentative and difficult to deal with.
    – naruto
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 3:14

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