bay of whales

Word Origin & History

O.E. hwæl, from P.Gmc. *khwalaz (cf. O.S. hwal, O.N. hvalr, hvalfiskr, Swed. val, M.Du. wal, walvisc, Du. walvis, O.H.G. wal, Ger. Wal); probably cognate with L. squalus "a kind of large sea fish." Phrase whale of a "excellent or large example" is c.1900, student slang.

"beat, whip severely," 1790, possibly a variant of wale (v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

whale definition

  1. n.
    a very fat person. (Cruel.) : Britney is getting to be such a whale.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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