Origin of whistling
verb (used without object), whis·tled, whis·tling.
verb (used with object), whis·tled, whis·tling.
- to bring a stop to; halt: Congress has blown the whistle on all unnecessary expenditures for the program.
- to expose (wrongdoing or wrongdoers): to blow the whistle on corruption in high places.
Origin of whistle
Examples from the Web for whistling
Contemporary Examples of whistling
When my first novel, Whistling in the Dark, was declared a breakout hit and New York Times bestseller, I was utterly bowled over.Horror Stories From the Book Tour Life
August 20, 2014
They called him Jolly because he was always happy, singing and whistling.The Stacks: The Neville Brothers Stake Their Claim as Bards of the Bayou
John Ed Bradley
April 27, 2014
I knew every volume by its colour and examined them all, passing slowly around the library and whistling to keep up my spirits.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
The whistling through the steel also continued from on high, but now it was clear it should not have seemed eerie at all.New York City’s Sandy Disaster: A Meteorological 9/11?
October 30, 2012
These coping strategies and this hopefulness seem to me to be a lot of whistling in the dark.The State of Gaza
May 15, 2012
Historical Examples of whistling
Yates walked merrily down the road, whistling "Gayly the troubadour."In the Midst of Alarms
I hear their groans as they strain, and the whistling of their breath.Buried Cities: Pompeii, Olympia, Mycenae
She gave an involuntary look at the barn, where David was whistling a merry stave.Tiverton Tales
He strode away, whistling, and the tune was full of courage and determination.
He was whistling a tune in a wheezy way, and keeping step to it grandly.
- to inform (on)
- to bring a stop (to)
Word Origin for whistle
"tubular musical instrument," Old English hwistle (see whistle (v.)). To wet one's whistle "take a drink" (late 14c.) originally may have referred to pipes, or be an allusion to the throat as a sort of pipe. Phrase clean as a whistle is recorded from 1878. Railroad whistle stop (at which trains stop only if the engineer hears a signal from the station) is recorded from 1934.
Old English hwistlian, from Proto-Germanic *khwis-, of imitative origin. Used also in Middle English of the hissing of serpents. Related: Whistled; whistling. To whistle for (with small prospect of getting) is probably from nautical whistling for a wind. To whistle "Dixie" is from 1940.
In addition to the idioms beginning with whistle
- whistle Dixie
- whistle for
- whistle in the dark
- blow the whistle on
- clean as a whistle
- slick as a whistle
- wet one's whistle