Word Confusion: Whoop versus Whup

Posted May 21, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Lately I’ve been coming across authors giving a whooping and I feel so confused. I suppose all that screamin’ and hollerin’ could provide sufficient punishment or be a result of a whupping, but I should have thought that a “good” beating is a more likely scenario after reading the context.

Not that I advocate whuppin’ someone, but if the storyline calls for it…

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Whoop Whup
Credit to: Apple Dictionary; Dictionary.com

Image by Lestat (Jan Mehlich) (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons


Image courtesy of Staten Island Live

They sure gave him a whuppin’!

Part of Grammar:
Exclamation; Noun
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: whoops
Past tense or past participle: whooped
Gerund or present participle: whooping

Verb, transitive

Third person present verb: whups
Past tense or past participle: whupped
Gerund or present participle: whupping

Variant of whip

Exclamation:
Another term for oops

Used to express surprise, mild embarrassment, etc., or as a casual apology

Used as a cry to attract attention from afar

  • To show excitement, encouragement, enthusiasm, etc.

Noun:
Loud cry of joy or excitement

A long rasping indrawn breath, typically of someone with whooping cough

Verb, intransitive:
Give or make a whoop

To utter a loud cry or shout in expressing enthusiasm, excitement, etc.

To cry as an owl, crane, or certain other birds

To make the characteristic sound accompanying the deep intake of air following a series of coughs in whooping cough

Verb, transitive:
To utter with or as if with a whoop

To whoop to or at

To call, urge, pursue, or drive with whoops

[North American; informal] Beat, thrash

  • Beat convincingly
  • Defeat convincingly
Examples:
Exclamation:
Whoops, my bad.

Noun:
The whoop of fast-approaching sirens.

All we heard was whoops of delight.

He’s got whooping cough.

Oh, please. It’s not worth a whoop.

I don’t give a whoop what you do.

Verb, intransitive:
They were all whooping with laughter.

He whooped for joy.

We’re gonna whoop it up this weekend!

Every family reunion, the old folks like to whoop up the good old days.

Verb, transitive:
That Elmer. He’s always whoopin’ them dogs on.

He deserves the ass-whuppin’.

They would whup him and send him home.

If you lined up our guys against the 49ers, they’d get whupped.

History of the Word:
First known use: 1350-1400

Middle English whopen, from the Old English hwōpan meaning to threaten with the same origin as the Gothic hwopan meaning to boast. Probably imitative.

First known use: Late 19th century, Scottish variant of whip

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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One response to “Word Confusion: Whoop versus Whup

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