Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A whimsical monster in folklore and children's fiction; a bugbear.
  • n. Term of disparagement
  • n. A ruling in which the opening stake limits are doubled for the next play after the appearance of a very good hand.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An imaginary creature, of undefined character.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An imaginary animal whose nature and features are purposely left undefined. Compare gyascutus and snark.
  • n. In poker, a round of jack-pots, usually played after a certain hand is shown, such as four of a kind.

Etymologies

Of American origin circa 1856. Popularized by appearing in a sermon parody attributed to William P. Brannan as "Where the lion roareth and the whangdoodle mourneth for her first-born," published in The Harp of a Thousand Strings: Or, Laughter for a Lifetime (1858). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And unmerciful was he in his scathing denunciation of the "whangdoodle" preacher who, by the cadence of a tuneful voice, strove to produce such demonstrations.

    Brief Sketch of the Life and Labors of Rev. Alexander Bettis. Also an Account of the Founding and Development of the Bettis Academy

  • A chaplain of one of the disorganized regiments was haranguing the mob in what may be termed the whangdoodle style: "Rally, men; rally, and we may yet be saved.

    The Citizen-Soldier or, Memoirs of a Volunteer

  • They have planted him deep in a grave by the fence, where the sand burs are thick and the jimson is dense; he's sleeping at last, and as still as a mouse, held down by a boulder as big as a house, and the whangdoodle mourns in a neighboring tree, with a voice that's as sad as the sorrowing sea.

    Rippling Rhymes

  • He was written of as the man whom Douglas had beaten two years before, and without other distinction; as lacking in culture, in every way inferior to Seward; as a whangdoodle stump speaker of the second class, and without any known principle.

    Children of the Market Place

  • Mr. Okada has been solemnly assured that, in dealing with certain white men, they will insist upon an eye for an optic and a tusk for a tooth; he knows that if he starts anything further he will go straight to that undiscovered country where the woodbine twineth and the whangdoodle mourneth for its mate. "

    The Pride of Palomar

  • She's got on La Gonizetti's dress, and her voice has the show - girl's clangy-tin-panny-whangdoodle, but that's all _I_ recognize. "

    Fran

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