"instrument for flagellating," early 14c., from whip (v.) and perhaps in part from Middle Low German wippe "quick movement." In parliamentary use from 1850 (the verb in this sense is recorded from 1742), from the sense in fox-hunting. The parliamentary whip's duty originally was to ensure the attendance of party members on important occasions.
mid-13c., wippen "flap violently," not in Old English, of uncertain origin, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *wipjan "to move back and forth" (source also of Danish vippe "to raise with a swipe," Middle Dutch, Dutch wippen "to swing," Old High German wipf "swing, impetus"), from PIE *weip- "to turn, vacillate, tremble" (see vibrate). "The senses of both [noun and verb] no doubt represent several independent adoptions or formations" [OED]. The cookery sense is from 1670s. Related: Whipped; whipping. Whip snake first recorded 1774, so called for its shape.
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