This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Word To Use Today: wham.

Ah, Wham...

where are the snows of those far-off days when, despite the evidence of this video, it didn't even occur to us to wonder if George Michael might be gay? 

Anyway, wham. It's quite a new word, and it's basically an imitation of the sound of something hitting something else with what I suppose before the word wham was invented you would have called a forceful thump.

Whammy is wham's unlucky offspring. A whammy doesn't necessarily have any physical existence, but it has a forceful and usually bad effect. Whammies often come in groups of two or three: so, a double whammy might be a combination of a bad cold and being snowed in; and a triple whammy might involve a bad cold, being snowed in, and a visit from your cousin Herbert.

Interestingly for such a new word, a whammy also has the magical meaning of an evil spell or curse. He put a whammy on her.

Hmm...and I'd been telling myself that the history of this word was showing that we've been getting quite enlightened.

Ah well.

Word To Use Today: wham or whammy. Merriam-Webster gives the first use of this word as 1924.

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