Etymology
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whistle (n.)
"tubular musical instrument sounded by blowing," Old English hwistle (see whistle (v.)). Meaning "sound formed by pursing the lips and blowing" is from mid-15c. 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.
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whistle (v.)
Old English hwistlian "to whistle," from Proto-Germanic *hwis-, of imitative origin (source also of Old Norse hvisla "to whisper," Danish hvisle "to hiss;" see whisper (v.)). Used also in Middle English of the hissing of serpents; in 17c. it also could mean "whisper." Transitive use from late 15c. Related: Whistled; whistling. At public events, often an expression of support or encouragement in U.S., but often derisive in Britain. To whistle for (with small prospect of getting) is perhaps from nautical whistling for a wind, an old sailor's superstition during a calm. "Such men will not whistle during a storm" [Century Dictionary]. To whistle "Dixie" is from 1940.
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whistler (n.)
Old English hwistlere "piper," literally "whistler," agent noun from hwistlian (see whistle (v.)).
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whistling (n.)
Old English hwistlung, verbal noun from hwistlian (see whistle (v.)).
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whistleblower (n.)
also whistle-blower, 1963 in the figurative sense, American English, from whistle (n.) as something sounded in an alert + agent noun from blow (v.1).
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sibilant (adj.)
1660s, from Latin sibilantem (nominative sibilans), present participle of sibilare "to hiss, whistle," possibly of imitative origin (compare Greek sizein "to hiss," Lettish sikt "to hiss," Old Church Slavonic svistati "to hiss, whistle"). Related: Sibilance; sibilation (1620s).
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sibilate (v.)
1650s, from Latin sibilatus, past participle of sibilare "to hiss, whistle" (see sibilant (adj.)). Related: Sibilated; sibilating.
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pipe (v.)

Old English pipian "to play on a pipe" or similar instrument, from Latin pipare "to peep, chirp," of imitative origin (see pipe (n.1)). Compare Dutch pijpen, German pfeifen.

From 1590s, of birds, "to chirp, warble, whistle, sing." Meaning "convey through pipes" is by 1887. Related: Piped; piping. Piping hot is in Chaucer, a reference to hissing of food in a frying pan.

To pipe up (early 15c.) originally meant "to begin to play" (on a musical instrument); sense of "to speak out" is from 1856. Pipe down "be quiet" is from 1900, probably a reversal of this, but earlier (and concurrently) in nautical jargon it was a bo'sun's whistle signal to dismiss the men from duty (1833); pipe in the nautical sense of "to call by the pipe or whistle" is by 1706.

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whine (v.)
Old English hwinan "to whiz, hiss, or whistle through the air" (only of arrows), also hwinsian "to whine" (of dogs), ultimately of imitative origin (compare Old Norse hvina "to whiz," German wiehern "to neigh"). Meaning "to complain in a feeble way" is first recorded 1520s. Related: Whined; whining.
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