• synonyms


[hwip-er-snap-er, wip-]
See more synonyms for whippersnapper on Thesaurus.com
  1. an unimportant but offensively presumptuous person, especially a young one.
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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

Related Words for whippersnapper

lad, fellow, youth, youngster, child, guy, rascal, punk, infant, toddler, adolescent, juvenile, teenager, baby, kid, offspring, minor, liar, cheat, ruffian

Examples from the Web for whippersnapper

Contemporary Examples of whippersnapper

Historical Examples of whippersnapper

  • 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!


    Armando Palacio Valds

British Dictionary definitions for whippersnapper


  1. an insignificant but pretentious or cheeky person, often a young oneAlso called: whipster
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Word Origin for whippersnapper

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


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper