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whale1

[hweyl, weyl] /ʰweɪl, weɪl/
noun, plural whales (especially collectively) whale.
1.
any of the larger marine mammals of the order Cetacea, especially as distinguished from the smaller dolphins and porpoises, having a fishlike body, forelimbs modified into flippers, and a head that is horizontally flattened.
2.
Informal. something big, great, or fine of its kind:
I had a whale of a time in Europe.
3.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Cetus.
verb (used without object), whaled, whaling.
4.
to engage in whaling or whale fishing.
Origin of whale1
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English hwæl; cognate with German Wal- in Walfisch, Old Norse hvalr; perhaps akin to Latin squalus kind of fish
Can be confused
wail, whale.

whale2

[hweyl, weyl] /ʰweɪl, weɪl/
verb, whaled, whaling
1.
to hit, thrash, or beat soundly.
Origin
First recorded in 1780-90; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for whaled
Historical Examples
  • He saw no reason why he should not push on; and in the Egyptian obliquity of his heart, he 'whaled' his ass to a degree.

  • I whaled Dan good when he brought that piece back from school.

    "Captains Courageous" Rudyard Kipling
  • Since his death, I have grown to liking the man much better; in fact ever since I whaled him.

    Vandemark's Folly Herbert Quick
  • I could have whaled it to them all right now, but a shell jammed.

    Plain Mary Smith Henry Wallace Phillips
  • He lammed me when he was drunk, and he whaled me when he was sober.

    Danny's Own Story Don Marquis
  • Just now he recognized his mother and she whaled away and gave him a whack for his pains.

    The Rainbow Trail Zane Grey
  • The Dutch also whaled with long ropes, as is now our method.

  • When I wuz a little shaver my ma told me always to mind my manners, an' when I didn't she whaled the life out of me.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Take your hat off to that chechacko who has just whaled you blind.

    The Yukon Trail William MacLeod Raine
  • I ricolleck one time I seed a big feller a bullyin' a po' little devil, an' I told him to quit an' he wouldn't, an' I whaled him.

    The Starbucks Opie Percival Read
British Dictionary definitions for whaled

whale1

/weɪl/
noun (pl) whales, whale
1.
any of the larger cetacean mammals, excluding dolphins, porpoises, and narwhals. They have flippers, a streamlined body, and a horizontally flattened tail and breathe through a blowhole on the top of the head related adjective cetacean
2.
any cetacean mammal See also toothed whale, whalebone whale
3.
(slang) a gambler who has the capacity to win and lose large sums of money in a casino
4.
(informal) a whale of a, an exceptionally large, fine, etc, example of a (person or thing): we had a whale of a time on holiday
Word Origin
Old English hwæl; related to Old Saxon, Old High German hwal, Old Norse hvalr, Latin squalus seapig

whale2

/weɪl/
verb
1.
(transitive) to beat or thrash soundly
Word Origin
C18: variant of wale1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for whaled

whale

n.

Old English hwæl, from Proto-Germanic *khwalaz (cf. Old Saxon hwal, Old Norse hvalr, hvalfiskr, Swedish val, Middle Dutch wal, walvisc, Dutch walvis, Old High German wal, German Wal); probably cognate with Latin squalus "a kind of large sea fish." Phrase whale of a "excellent or large example" is c.1900, student slang.

v.

"beat, whip severely," 1790, possibly a variant of wale (v.).

whale

v.

"beat, whip severely," 1790, possibly a variant of wale (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for whaled

whale 1

noun

A large or fat person; beached whale (1900+)

whale 2

noun

A heavy blow: She gave him a hard whale to the nose

verb

  1. To hit; thrash; trounce: They whaled us six–zip/ She hauled off and whaled him a shrewd blow (1790+)
  2. (also wail) To do extremely well; excel (1980s+ Students)

[fr British dialect spelling of wale, ''strike, beat,'' perhaps related to Old English wœl, ''slaughter, carnage, death'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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13
13
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