The digital twins (DT) has quickly become a hot topic since it was proposed. It appears in all kinds of commercial propaganda and is widely quoted by academic circles. However, the term DT has misstatements and is misused in business and academics. This study revisits DT and defines it to be a more advanced system/product/service modeling and simulation environment that combines most modern information communication technologies (ICTs) and engineering mechanism digitization and characterized by system/product/service life cycle management, physically geometric visualization, real-time sensing and measurement of system operating conditions, predictability of system performance/safety/lifespan, and complete engineering mechanisms-based simulations. The idea of DT originates from modeling and simulation practices of engineering informatization, including virtual manufacturing (VM), model predictive control, and building information modeling (BIM). On the basis of the two-element VM model, we propose a three-element model to represent DT. DT does not have its unique technical characteristics. The existing practices of DT are extensions of the engineering informatization embracing modern ICTs. These insights clarify the origin of DT and its technical essentials.