[Loch-Ruadh] vocabulary word

Jane Sitton jane.sitton at radioshack.com
Fri Jun 14 10:54:27 PDT 2002

Your daily vocabulary lesson: whirligig * \WUR-lih-gihg\ * (noun) *1 : a
child's toy having a whirling motion 2 : merry-go-round 3 a : one that
continuously whirls, moves, or changes b : a whirling or circling course (as
of events)
Example sentence: When Aunt Martha confessed that Mr. Ames was my real
father, the world suddenly swirled and reeled like a whirligig spinning out
of control.
Did you know? English speakers, and particularly children, began spinning
whirligigs as early as the 15th century. Since then, "whirligig" has
acquired several meanings beyond its initial toy sense. It even has a place
in the common name of the "whirligig beetles," members of the family
Gyrinidae that swiftly swim in circles on the surface of still water. The
word "whirligig" comes to us from the Middle English "whirlegigg" ("whirling
top"), which is itself from "whirlen," meaning "to whirl," and "gigg,"
meaning "top." As you may have guessed, our "whirl" comes from "whirlen"
too. Also, we acquired the word "gig" from a form of "gigg." "Gig" initially
meant "something that whirls," but now usually names a long light boat or a
light two-wheeled one-horse carriage. *Indicates the sense illustrated in
the example sentence.

Wonder if there are any period examples of whirligigs?  Gig is also
something some do to frogs.  The animals, not the French.  LOL


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