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[hwam-ee, wam-ee] /ˈʰwæm i, ˈwæm i/
noun, plural whammies. Informal.
the evil eye; jinx.
bad luck or misfortune.
a devastating blow, setback, or catastrophe:
The drought and the high price of fertilizer are a double whammy to farmers.
put the whammy on,
  1. to give the evil eye to; jinx.
  2. to destroy, end, or eradicate:
    New controls will put the whammy on irresponsible spending.
Origin of whammy
1935-40; wham + -y2, one of the methods of putting a whammy on someone being to strike the fist into the palm Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for whammy
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Historical Examples
  • This time they ain't none of them screwy Venusians to put the whammy on him, and he's doing okay.

British Dictionary definitions for whammy


noun (pl) -mies
something which has great, often negative, impact: the double whammy of high interest rates and low wage increases
an evil spell or curse: she was convinced he had put the whammy on her
Word Origin
C20: wham + -y²
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 whammy

often double whammy, "hex, evil eye," 1932, of unknown origin, popularized 1941 in Al Capp's comic strip "Li'l Abner."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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