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


an unimportant but offensively presumptuous person, especially a young one.

Nearby words

  1. whipcord,
  2. whiplash,
  3. whiplash injury,
  4. whipped,
  5. whipper-in,
  6. whippet,
  7. whipping,
  8. whipping boy,
  9. whipping cream,
  10. whipping post

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for whippersnapper

British Dictionary definitions for whippersnapper



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