[lit-ideas] Re: Whinger... (Was: Thinks...)

  • From: Robert.Paul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Robert Paul)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: 01 Jun 2004 22:36:43 PDT

Andreas writes, re 'whinge':

'The word has been around for three or four years in the UK. i've never heard
a Brit pronounce it. the few Brits I know in Silicon Valley haven't heard it

These few Brits might not be a representative sample.

Robert Paul
Bingeing on the OED

1. whinge (hwInd3), sb. orig. Sc. and dial. [f. next.] A whine, esp. a peevish 

1500-20 DUNBAR Poems xxxii. 10 He [sc. a fox]..schuk his taill, with quhinge 
and 3elp. 

1825 CROKER Fairy Leg. Irel. I. 48 The whinge, and the yelp, and the 
screech, and the yowl. 

1852 Meanderings of Mem. I. 170 With cur-like whinge to 
such soft cutting whip.

1938 S. BECKETT Murphy iii. 37 He threw his voice into 
an infant's whinge. `I cudden do anything, Maaaammy.' 

1947 I. L. IDRIESS Isles of Despair xxxviii. 254 The bull [whale] complained
with a stupid little 
grumbling whinge and edged a few yards farther away. 

1963 [see PEANUT 2 b]. 

1973 P. WHITE Eye of Storm i. 64 `You're so unfair!' A whinge developed 
through a moan into a downright blub. 1981 Listener 4 June 749/1 This is not 
just an envious whinge. 

1982 J. THOMSON To make a Killing xiii. 231, I knew 
bloody well he'd shop me and make a fuss... He'd already had a whinge about 
the rubbish I'd left. 

1985 Times 10 Jan. 10/6 In my one-but-last whinge I was 
going on about the burdensome duties of The Talk. 

2. whinge (hwInd3), v. orig. Sc. and north. dial. Forms: 6 quhinge, quhynge, 9 
winge, wheenge, 8 whindge, 7- whinge, 20 winge. [North. form of OE. hwinsian, 
corresp. to OHG. win(i)son (MHG. winsen; cf. MHG., G. winseln):-OTeut. 
*xwinisojan, f. root of hwinan to WHINE. For the suffix cf. OE. claensian to 
CLEANSE, bletsian to BLESS, ricsian to rule, ONor. hreinsa to cleanse; for the 
phonology of the form whinge cf. CLENGE, ringe, north. forms of CLEANSE, 
RINSE.] intr. To whine; esp. to complain peevishly. Hence 'whinging (also 
w(h)ingeing) vbl. sb. and ppl. a.
A. 1150 MS. C.C.C. Camb. 303 125/7 Mid hwinsunge & mid dreori&asg.um mode hio 
[sc. the dogs] cerdon ealle on&asg.ean to pan hunten. 

A. 1150 MS. C.C.C. Camb. 303 126/14 Tha hundes ne &asg.eswicon to hwinsianne mid
ceariendre staemne. 

1513 DOUGLAS Aeneis XIII. iii. 28 The remanent of that questing sort,..about 
the master hunteir With quhyngeand mouthis quaikand standis for feir. 

1513 DOUGLAS Aeneis 32 Thai hald thar mowthis still, Thar quhingeing and thar 
questing at his will Refrenis. 

1562 WIN3ET Cert. Tractates Wks. (S.T.S.) I. 8 
Dum doggis, quha..dar nother quhryne nor quhynge. 

1720 C'TESS COWPER Diary (1864) 152 The second Time she said, whingeing [etc.]. 

1725 RAMSAY Gentle Sheph. I. i, Daft Gowk! leave off that silly whindging Way. 

1727 P. WALKER Life Semple etc. (1827) 316 You will die honourably before many 
Witnesses,..and I will die whinging upon a Pickle Straw. 

1728 RAMSAY Last Sp. Miser xviii, The mair they whing'd, it gart me hug My
swelling Purses. 

1760-72 H. BROOKE Fool of Qual. (1792) I. v. 159 A little beggar boy,..whinging
shivering with cold. 

1790 BURNS Elegy Capt. M- H- Epit. viii, Ony whiggish 
whingin' sot. A. 

1837 R. NICOLL Poems (1842) 17, I needna greet, What gude on 
earth wad whingeing do? 

1867 P. FITZGERALD Seventy-five Brooke St. I. xxi, 
This mean, whinging fellow. 1907 

J. M. SYNGE Let. 31 Mar. (1971) 121 Forgive 
this contemptible sort of whinging. I am so lonely and miserable I cant help 

1922 JOYCE Ulysses 10 You crossed her last wish in death and yet you sulk 
with me because I don't whinge like some hired mute from Lalouette's. 1946 K. 
TENNANT Lost Haven (1947) xvii. 272 She had lifted up her brief skirt..to 
exhibit her sand-fly bites... `You don't want to whinge about them... You had 
a good time, didn't you?' 

1955 S. BECKETT Molloy II. 172, I forgot that my son 
would be at my side,..whinging for food. 

1965 Listener 2 Sept. 339/2 There is a stinging phrase in use, `wingeing Poms'
(translate into `complaining 

1969 Advertiser (Adelaide) 12 May 5/4 Stop whingeing and give a 
bloke a go, mates. 

1973 B. BAINBRIDGE Dressmaker 8 If that girl didn't stop 
her wingeing, the neighbours would be banging on the wall. 1983 Times Lit. 
Suppl. 11 Mar. 236/1 In 1849, Arnold whinged to Clough that the age was 

1983 Sunday Times 31 July 33/1 `What sort of people do 
Australians hate most?' `The whingeing Pom... Poms that come over and do 
nothing but whinge.' 

1984 Times 20 Jan. 10/7 This is not the month for 
whingeing criticisms. 

1984 Sunday Times 9 Dec. 7/1 All must drill most Tuesday 
nights..and not whinge when the trousers of their best suits are crumpled and 
smutted under the uniform. 


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