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Origin of yo-yo

First recorded in 1915–20; of undetermined origin; possibly from Ilocano yóyo or a related language as the name of a Philippine toy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for yo-yo

yo-yo
/ (ˈjəʊjəʊ) /

noun plural -yos

a toy consisting of a spool attached to a string, the end of which is held while it is repeatedly spun out and reeled in
US and Canadian slang a stupid person, esp one who is easily manipulated

verb yo-yos, yo-yoing or yo-yoed (intr)

informal to change repeatedly from one position to another; fluctuate

adjective

informal changing repeatedly; fluctuating

Word Origin for yo-yo

from Filipino yo yo, come come, a weapon consisting of a spindle attached to a thong
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