late 14c., "to gallop," possibly from Old North French *waloper (13c., Old French galoper), from Frankish compound *walalaupan "to run well" (compare Old High German wela "well," see well (adv.); and Old Low Franconian loupon "to run, leap," from Proto-Germanic *hlaupan; see leap (v.)). The meaning "to thrash" (1820) and the noun meaning "heavy blow" (1823) may be separate developments, of imitative origin. Related: Walloped; walloping.
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