whack (v.) Look up whack at Dictionary.com
"to strike sharply," 1719, probably of imitative origin. The noun is from 1737. The word in out of whack (1885) is perhaps the slang meaning "share, just portion" (1785), which may be from the notion of the blow that divides, or the rap of the auctioneer's hammer. To have (or take) a whack at something "make an attempt" is from 1891. Related: Whacked; whacking. Whacked out is from 1969.
whale (n.) Look up whale at Dictionary.com
Old English hwæl "whale," also "walrus," from Proto-Germanic *hwalaz (cognates: Old Saxon hwal, Old Norse hvalr, hvalfiskr, Swedish val, Middle Dutch wal, walvisc, Dutch walvis, Old High German wal, German Wal), from PIE *(s)kwal-o- (cognates: Latin squalus "a kind of large sea fish"). Phrase whale of a "excellent or large example" is c.1900, student slang. Whale-oil attested from mid-15c.
whale (v.2) Look up whale at Dictionary.com
"beat, whip severely," 1790, possibly a variant of wale (v.) "to mark with 'wales' or stripes" (early 15c.), from wale (n.). Related: Whaled; whaling.
whale (v.1) Look up whale at Dictionary.com
"pursue the business of whale-fishing," 1700, from whale (n.). Whale-fishing is attested from 1570s.
whalebone (n.) Look up whalebone at Dictionary.com
also whale-bone, c.1200, from whale (n.) + bone (n.).
whaler (n.) Look up whaler at Dictionary.com
1680s of a person, 1806 of a boat, agent noun from whale (v.). Old English had hwælhunta.
whaling (n.) Look up whaling at Dictionary.com
"whale-fishing," 1716, verbal noun from whale (v.).
wham (n.) Look up wham at Dictionary.com
"a heavy blow," 1923, of echoic origin.
whammo Look up whammo at Dictionary.com
exclamation signifying violence or surprise, 1932, from wham (q.v.).
whammy (n.) Look up whammy at Dictionary.com
often double whammy, "hex, evil eye," 1932, of unknown origin, popularized 1941 in Al Capp's comic strip "Li'l Abner," where it was the specialty of Evil-Eye Fleegle.
whangdoodle (n.) Look up whangdoodle at Dictionary.com
name of an imaginary creature or thing, 1858, American English, fanciful formation.
wharf (n.) Look up wharf at Dictionary.com
late Old English hwearf "shore, bank where ships can tie up," earlier "dam, embankment," from Proto-Germanic *hwarfaz (cognates: Middle Low German werf "mole, dam, wharf," German Werft "shipyard, dockyard"); related to Old English hwearfian "to turn," perhaps in a sense implying "busy activity," from PIE root *kwerp- "to turn, revolve" (cognates: Old Norse hverfa "to turn round," German werben "to enlist, solicit, court, woo," Gothic hvairban "to wander," Greek kartos "wrist," Sanskrit surpam "winnowing fan"). Wharf rat is from 1812 as "type of rat common on ships and docks;" extended sense "person who hangs around docks" is recorded from 1836.
wharfinger (n.) Look up wharfinger at Dictionary.com
"operator or manager of a wharf," 1550s, from wharfage "provision or accomodation at wharves" (mid-15c.), from wharf + agent noun suffix -er (1) + intrusive -n- as in messenger.
what (pron.) Look up what at Dictionary.com
Old English hwæt, referring to things in abstraction; also "why, wherefore; indeed, surely, truly," from Proto-Germanic pronoun *hwat (cognates: Old Saxon hwat, Old Norse hvat, Danish hvad, Old Frisian hwet, Dutch wat, Old High German hwaz, German was, Gothic hva "what"), from PIE *kwod, neuter singular of *kwos "who" (see who). Corresponding to Latin quid.

Meaning "what did you say?" is recorded from c.1300. As an adjective and adverb, in Old English. As a conjunction in late Old English. Exclamatory use was in Old English. What the _____ (devil, etc.) as an exclamation of surprise is from late 14c. As an interrogative expletive at the end of sentences from 1891; common in affected British speech. Or what as an alternative end to a question is first attested 1766. What have you "anything else one can think of" is from 1925. What's up? "what is happening?" first recorded 1881.

"To give one what for is to respond to his remonstrant what for? by further assault" [Weekley]. The phrase is attested from 1873; what for? as introducing a question is from 1760. To know what is what is from c.1400; I'll tell you what to emphasize what is about to be said is in Shakespeare.
whatchamacallit (n.) Look up whatchamacallit at Dictionary.com
1928, compressed form of phrase "what you may call it." What-do-you-call-it is from 1630s. Earliest recorded variant is what-calle-ye-hym, attested from late 15c. What's-his-name for "unspecified person" is attested from 1690s; variant what's-his-face is first recorded 1967.
whatever (pron.) Look up whatever at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "what in the world," emphatic of what, with ever. From late 14c. as "anything at all; all of; no matter what or who." From late 14c. as an adjective, "any sort of, any, every; no matter what, regardless of what." From 1870 as "whatever may be the cause, at any event," which could be the source of the modern teen slang dismissive use.
whatnot (n.) Look up whatnot at Dictionary.com
also what-not, 1530s, "anything," from what + not. Elliptical for "what may I not say," implying "everything else." As the name of a furniture item, first attested 1808, so named for the objects it is meant to hold.
whatsoever (pron.) Look up whatsoever at Dictionary.com
"of whatever nature, kind, or sort," mid-13c., quuat-so-euere, from whatso "whatever" (c.1200; see what), an emphatic referring to things, + ever. A double intensive of what. As an adjective from mid-15c.
wheal (n.) Look up wheal at Dictionary.com
"mark made on the skin by a whip," 1808, perhaps an alteration of wale, possibly by confusion with weal "welt," and obsolete wheal "pimple, pustule" (mid-15c.), from Old English verb hwelian "to form pus, bring to a head."
wheat (n.) Look up wheat at Dictionary.com
Old English hwæte "wheat," from Proto-Germanic *hwaitjaz (cognates: Old Saxon hweti, Old Norse hveiti, Norwegian kveite, Old Frisian hwete, Middle Dutch, Dutch weit, Old High German weizzi, German Weizen, Gothic hvaiteis "wheat"), literally "that which is white" (in reference to the grain or the meal), from PIE *kwoid-yo-, suffixed variant form of root *kweid-, *kweit- "to shine" (see white; and compare Welsh gwenith "wheat," related to gwenn "white"). The Old World grain was introduced into New Spain in 1528. Wheaties, the cereal brand name, was patented 1925.
wheatear (n.) Look up wheatear at Dictionary.com
type of bird, 1590s, back-formation from white-ears, literally "white-arse" (see white + arse). So called for its color markings; compare French name for the bird, cul-blanc, literally "white rump."
wheaten (adj.) Look up wheaten at Dictionary.com
"made of wheat," Old English hwæten; see wheat + -en (2).
whee Look up whee at Dictionary.com
exclamation of exhilaration, 1920.
wheedle (v.) Look up wheedle at Dictionary.com
"to influence by flattery," 1660s, of uncertain origin, perhaps connected with Old English wædlian "to beg," from wædl "poverty" [OED], or borrowed by English soldiers in the 17c. German wars from German wedeln "wag the tail," hence "fawn, flatter" (compare adulation). Related: Wheedled; wheedling.
wheel (n.) Look up wheel at Dictionary.com
Old English hweol, hweogol "wheel," from Proto-Germanic *hwewlaz- (cognates: Old Norse hvel, Old Swedish hiughl, Old Frisian hwel, Middle Dutch weel), from PIE *kw(e)-kwl-o- "wheel, circle," suffixed, reduplicated form of root *kwel- (1) (see cycle (n.)).
The root wegh-, "to convey, especially by wheeled vehicle," is found in virtually every branch of Indo-European, including now Anatolian. The root, as well as other widely represented roots such as aks- and nobh-, attests to the presence of the wheel -- and vehicles using it -- at the time Proto-Indo-European was spoken. [Watkins, p. 96]
Figurative sense is early 14c. Wheel of fortune attested from early 15c. Slang wheels "a car" is recorded from 1959. Wheeler-dealer is from 1954, a rhyming elaboration of dealer.
wheel (v.) Look up wheel at Dictionary.com
"to turn like a wheel," c.1200, from wheel (n.); transitive sense attested from late 14c. Related: Wheeled; wheeling.
wheel-house (n.) Look up wheel-house at Dictionary.com
also wheelhouse, 1835, "structure enclosing a large wheel," especially one over the steering wheel of a steamboat, thus "pilot house;" from wheel (n.) + house (n.). Baseball slang sense of "a hitter's power zone" attested by 1990.
wheelbarrow (n.) Look up wheelbarrow at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from wheel (n.) + barrow (n.1).
wheelchair (n.) Look up wheelchair at Dictionary.com
also wheel-chair, c.1700, from wheel + chair (n.).
wheelie (n.) Look up wheelie at Dictionary.com
1966, from wheel (n.) + -ie.
wheelwright (n.) Look up wheelwright at Dictionary.com
"one who makes or fits wheels," c.1300 (mid-13c. as a surname), from wheel (n.) + wright (n.).
wheeze (v.) Look up wheeze at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., probably from a Scandinavian source such as Old Norse hvoesa "to hiss," Danish hvæse cognate with Old English hwæst "act of blowing," hwosan "to cough," from an imitative root. Related: Wheezed; wheezing. The noun is first recorded 1834.
wheezy (adj.) Look up wheezy at Dictionary.com
1818, from wheeze + -y (2). Related: Wheezily; wheeziness.
whelk (n.) Look up whelk at Dictionary.com
marine snail with a spiral shell, Old English weoloc, wioloc, from Proto-Germanic *weluka- (cognates: Middle Dutch willoc, Dutch wulk), perhaps from PIE root *wel- (3) "to turn, revolve" (see volvox; also volute). The unetymological spelling with wh- dates from 15c.
whelm (v.) Look up whelm at Dictionary.com
early 14c., probably from a parallel form of Old English -hwielfan (West Saxon), -hwelfan (Mercian), in ahwelfan "cover over;" probably altered by association with Old English helmian "to cover," from Proto-Germanic *hwalbjan, from PIE *kwelp- "to arch" (see gulf (n.)).
whelp (n.) Look up whelp at Dictionary.com
Old English hwelp "whelp, young of the dog," from a Germanic root related to Old Saxon hwelp, Old Norse hvelpr, Dutch welp, German hwelf; of unknown origin. Now largely displaced by puppy. Also applied to wild animals. Sense of "scamp" first recorded early 14c.
whelp (v.) Look up whelp at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from whelp (n.). Related: Whelped; whelping.
when (adv.) Look up when at Dictionary.com
Old English hwænne, hwenne, hwonne, from Proto-Germanic *hwan- (cognates: Old Saxon hwan, Old Frisian hwenne, Middle Dutch wan, Old High German hwanne, German wann "when," wenn "if, whenever"), from pronomial stem *hwa-, from PIE interrogative base *kwo- (see who). Equivalent to Latin quom, cum. As a conjunction in late Old English. Say when "tell me when to stop pouring you this drink" is from 1889.
whenas (adv., conj.) Look up whenas at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from when + as.
Whenas in silks my Julia goes
Then, then (methinks) how sweetly flows
That liquefaction of her clothes.

[Robert Herrick (1591-1674)]
whence (adv., conj.) Look up whence at Dictionary.com
early 13c., whennes, with adverbial genitive -s, from Old English hwanone, related to hwænne (see when). Spelling with -ce (1520s) reflects the voiceless pronunciation.
whenever (adv., conj.) Look up whenever at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from when + ever.
where (adv.) Look up where at Dictionary.com
Old English hwær, hwar "at what place," from Proto-Germanic adverb *hwar (cognates: Old Saxon hwar, Old Norse hvar, Old Frisian hwer, Middle Dutch waer, Old High German hwar, German wo, Gothic hvar "where"), equivalent to Latin cur, from PIE interrogative base *kwo- (see who). Where it's at attested from 1903.
whereabout (adv.) Look up whereabout at Dictionary.com
"near what place," early 14c. as an interrogatory word, from where + about.
whereabouts (adv.) Look up whereabouts at Dictionary.com
"in what place," early 15c., from whereabout + adverbial genitive -s. The noun, "place where someone or something is," is recorded from 1795. Whereabout in this sense is from c.1600.
whereas (adv.) Look up whereas at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "where;" early 15c. as a conjunction, "in consideration of the fact that," from where + as.
whereat (adv.) Look up whereat at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., from where + at.
whereby (adv.) Look up whereby at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from where + by.
wherefore (adv.) Look up wherefore at Dictionary.com
c.1200, hwarfore, from where + for. Similar formation in Dutch waarvoor, Old Norse hvar fyrir, Swedish varfor.
wherein (adv.) Look up wherein at Dictionary.com
early 13c., from where + in. Similar formation in Dutch waarin, German worin, Swedish vari, Danish hvori.
whereof (adv.) Look up whereof at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from where + of. Similar formation in Swedish hveraf, Danish hvoraf, Dutch waarvan.