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whippersnapper

[hwip-er-snap-er, wip-]
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noun
  1. an unimportant but offensively presumptuous person, especially a young one.

Origin of whippersnapper

1665–75; probably blend of earlier whipster and snippersnapper, similar in sense; see whip, snap, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whippersnapper

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Would you try to frighten me with that whippersnapper thing?

    Little Johannes

    Frederik van Eeden

  • I was serving the Czar while you were still a whippersnapper.

  • She's not the kind that takes to any whippersnapper that comes along.

    Angela's Business

    Henry Sydnor Harrison

  • You'll find out you're fooling with the wrong man, you whippersnapper!

    Hiram The Young Farmer

    Burbank L. Todd

  • And a whippersnapper fellow like Perez, a narrow-minded slow-coach, with no taste or spirit, dared to dispute the place with him!

    Froth

    Armando Palacio Valds


British Dictionary definitions for whippersnapper

whippersnapper

noun
  1. an insignificant but pretentious or cheeky person, often a young oneAlso called: whipster

Word Origin

C17: probably from whipsnapper a person who snaps whips, influenced by earlier snippersnapper, of obscure origin
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

Word Origin and History for whippersnapper

n.

1670s, apparently a "jingling extension" [OED] of *whip-snapper "a cracker of whips," or perhaps an alteration of snipper-snapper (1580s). Cf. also late 16c. whipperginnie, a term of abuse for a woman.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper