[hwip-er-snap-er, wip-]
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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

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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper