Etymology
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white hope (n.)

"person or thing that people hope will be very successful in the near future," 1911, originally in U.S. sporting use in reference to the quest for a white man capable of beating champion pugilist Jack Johnson.

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white meat (n.)

"meat of poultry, pigs, etc.," as opposed to red meat, 1752, from white (adj.) + meat (n.). Earlier it meant "foods prepared from milk" (early 15c.). African-American vernacular sense of "white women as sex partners" is from 1920s.

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white noise (n.)

"sound made up of a random mixture of frequencies and intensities," by 1970, from white (adj.) + noise (n.).

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white trash (n.)

1824, originally in African-American vernacular in the South.

The slaves themselves entertain the very highest contempt for white servants, whom they designate as 'poor white trash.' [Fanny Kemble, journal, Jan. 6, 1833]
[T]he term [poor white] is rather loosely applied by Northern writers even to mountaineers and to small farmers who live on a precarious footing. But in the Southern conception, not everyone who is both poor and white is a "poor white." To the Southerner, the "poor white" in the strictest sense is a being beyond the pale of even the most generous democratic recognition; in the negro's term, "po' white trash," or so much social débris. [Robert Penn Warren, "The Briar Patch," 1930, footnote]
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whole cloth (n.)

early 15c., "piece of cloth of full size," as opposed to a piece cut out for a garment; figurative sense first attested 1570s.

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whole nine yards (n.)

by 1970, of unknown origin; perhaps arbitrary (see cloud nine). Among the guesses that have been made without real evidence: concrete mixer trucks were said to have dispensed in this amount. Or the yard might be the word used in the slang sense of "one hundred dollars." Several similar phrases meaning "everything" arose in the 1940s (whole ball of wax, which is likewise of obscure origin, whole schmear); older examples include whole hog (see hog (n.)) and whole shooting match (1896); whole shebang (1895).

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wild card (n.)

1950 in figurative sense, from literal use in certain forms of poker (1941), from wild (adj.) + card (n.1). The phrase was used occasionally c. 1900 in British and Irish writing to mean "drinking, free-spirited man."

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wild goose chase (n.)

"pursuit of anything in ignorance of the direction it will take," hence "a foolish enterprise," 1592, first attested in "Romeo and Juliet," where it evidently is a figurative use of an earlier (but unrecorded) literal sense in reference to a kind of follow-the-leader steeplechase, perhaps from one of the "crazy, silly" senses in goose (n.). Wild goose (as opposed to a domesticated one) is attested in late Old English (wilde gos).

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wild man (n.)

c. 1200, "man lacking in self-restraint," from wild (adj.) + man (n.). From mid-13c. as "primitive, savage." Late 14c. as a surname.

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witch hazel (n.)

1540s, probably from Old English wice "Applied generally or vaguely to various trees having pliant branches" [OED], from wican "to bend" (from PIE root *weik- (2) "to bend, to wind") + hæsel, used for any bush of the pine family (see hazel (n.)). The North American bush, from which a soothing lotion is made, was so called from 1670s. This is the source of the verb witch in dowsing.

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