from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Informal A helicopter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A helicopter.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an aircraft without wings that obtains its lift from the rotation of overhead blades


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Lisa Provence at The Hook put a little elbow grease into the matter, and discovered that the whirlybird is property of the Virginia National Guard, and was dispatched to look for marijuana as a part of “Operation Green Harvest” (which is, oddly, a famous Hawaiian cannabis-eradication program).

    Twin Oaks Buzzed by Military Copter at

  • I had concluded that the drainage system was full of mineral deposits that I had scraped off the walls and "whirlybird" that's the official term, from the repairman instructions that came with it! inside the dishwasher.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • Prosecutors allege Poole finally told the truth - that she became dizzy and lost her grip on the girl's ankles during a spinning game she called "whirlybird" and Allison fell off a balcony to the first floor.

    The End of the Story

  • The turbine ventilator (also known as "whirlybird") is one of the many types of roof vents available, preferred by some because it uses a wind-propelled fan instead of an electric fan to draw heat and moisture out of the attic space.

    Shaister Miester Do Da

  • This whimsical whirlybird even dedicated the No Doubt-like "Submarine Symphonika" from 2008's Honeysuckle Weeks to "the girl in the bathroom who told me it's her favorite."

    Michael Bialas: The Submarines Hit Their Target Audience by Sending Love Notes

  • He hit the outfield fence on the third pitch, though not with the ball but rather the bat, flinging it like a whirlybird to the warning track.

    Parents Behaving Badly

  • The illusion that Murali throws the ball comes from two things: his elbow, which is bent all the time thanks to a congenital defect, and his incredible whirlybird rubber wrists, which describe an arc of more than 180 degrees when releasing the ball.

    Murali the Magnificent

  • When Michael Bay cuts around like this in Armageddon, or when some other Jerry Bruckheimer acolytye does this fast-paced whirlybird editing, the word we usually use for it is "incoherent."

    Archive 2010-03-01

  • These included a ride on a whirlybird, a regulation U.S.

    Tales of the Orienteer

  • Nick talked earnestly to Matthews, his raid commander, and when it seemed everybody was done being dramatic, Matthews turned, gave the whirlybird rotation with his fingers, meaning “Guns up,” and everybody piled into the six SUVs.

    Dead Zero


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