Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[hwelp, welp] /ʰwɛlp, wɛlp/
the young of the dog, or of the wolf, bear, lion, tiger, seal, etc.
a youth, especially an impudent or despised one.
  1. any of a series of longitudinal projections or ridges on the barrel of a capstan, windlass, etc.
  2. any of the teeth of a sprocket wheel.
verb (used with or without object)
(of a female dog, lion, etc.) to give birth to (young).
Origin of whelp
before 900; (noun) Middle English; Old English hwelp (cognate with German Welf); (v.) Middle English whelpen, derivative of the noun
Related forms
whelpless, adjective
unwhelped, adjective
2. brat, urchin, whippersnapper. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for whelp
Historical Examples
  • And you have now returned to the tiger's den to mock that dangerous animal with the loss of its whelp.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • But it was provoking to be flouted, so politely too, by that whelp of the Golden Dog!

    The Golden Dog William Kirby
  • The moon does not respond to all this wonder by descending into the whelp's jaws—no more will my niece.

  • You've done your work and that whelp shall not keep you out of its results.

    Frenzied Finance Thomas W. Lawson
  • Also he had heard stories of the Wolf and the whelp, as the forest folk called them, and now the whelp told the tale himself.

    The Valkyries Edward Frederic Benson
  • Gie a bairn his will, and a whelp its fill, and nane o' them will e'er do weel.

    The Proverbs of Scotland Alexander Hislop
  • In the twentieth tale we have a calf and a lion's whelp brought up together by a lioness upon the same milk.

  • I hardly think the whelp will try another trick, but there is no telling.

    Frank Merriwell's Races Burt L. Standish
  • He wasn't much more than a whelp then—about six months old, Mukoki said.

    The Wolf Hunters James Oliver Curwood
  • Stop that barkin', now, you whelp, Or I'll kick you till you yelp!

    Farm Ballads Will Carleton
British Dictionary definitions for whelp


a young offspring of certain animals, esp of a wolf or dog
(derogatory) a young man or youth
(jocular) a young child
(nautical) any of the ridges, parallel to the axis, on the drum of a capstan to keep a rope, cable, or chain from slipping
(of an animal or, disparagingly, a woman) to give birth to (young)
Word Origin
Old English hwelp(a); related to Old High German hwelf, Old Norse hvelpr, Danish hvalp
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for whelp

Old English hwelp "whelp, young of the dog," from a Germanic root related to Old Saxon hwelp, Old Norse hvelpr, Dutch welp, German hwelf; of unknown origin. Now largely displaced by puppy. Also applied to wild animals. Sense of "scamp" first recorded early 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for whelp

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for whelp

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for whelp