Word of the Day

whinge

audio pronunciation
May 11, 2009
verb
\WINJ\
Definition
: to complain fretfully : whine
Examples
She urged her fellow workers to stop whinging about how they were victims of "the system" and to do something to change that system.
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Did You Know?
"Whinge" isn't just a spelling variant of "whine." "Whinge" and "whine" are actually entirely different words with separate histories. "Whine" traces to an Old English verb, "hwinan," which means "to make a humming or whirring sound." When "hwinan" became "whinen" in Middle English, it meant "to wail distressfully"; "whine" didn't acquire its "complain" sense until the 16th century. "Whinge," on the other hand, comes from a different Old English verb, "hwinsian," which means "to wail or moan discontentedly." "Whinge" retains that original sense today, though nowadays it puts less emphasis on the sound of the complaining and more on the discontentment behind the complaint.
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