Etymology
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whirligig (n.)

mid-15c., a child's toy, from whirl (v.) + gig (see gig (n.1)). Meaning "anything in constant motion" is from 1580s; "fickle, flighty person" is from c. 1600; as a type of water beetle, from 1713.

updated on September 25, 2012

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Definitions of whirligig from WordNet
1
whirligig (n.)
a conical child's plaything tapering to a steel point on which it can be made to spin;
Synonyms: top / teetotum / spinning top
whirligig (n.)
a large, rotating machine with seats for children to ride or amusement;
2
whirligig (v.)
whirl or spin like a whirligig;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.