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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

wasp

[wosp] /wɒsp/
noun
1.
any of numerous social or solitary hymenopterous insects of the Vespidae, Sphecidae, and allied families, generally having a long, slender body and narrow waist and, in the female, a stinger.
2.
a person who is snappish or petulant.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English waspe, Old English wæsp, metathetic variant of wæps, itself variant of wæfs, akin to Dutch wesp, German Wespe, Latin vespa
Related forms
wasplike, adjective

WASP

[wosp] /wɒsp/
noun
1.
a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
2.
a member of the privileged, established white upper middle class in the U.S.
adjective
3.
Also, Wasp.
Origin
1955-60

WASP

[wosp] /wɒsp/
noun
1.
a member of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, an organization disbanded in 1944.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for wasp
  • A predator that has learned to avoid the wasp would similarly avoid the ash borer.
British Dictionary definitions for wasp

wasp

/wɒsp/
noun
1.
any social hymenopterous insect of the family Vespidae, esp Vespula vulgaris (common wasp), typically having a black-and-yellow body and an ovipositor specialized for stinging See also potter wasp, hornet related adjective vespine
2.
any of various solitary hymenopterans, such as the digger wasp and gall wasp
Derived Forms
wasplike, adjective
waspy, adjective
waspily, adverb
waspiness, noun
Word Origin
Old English wæsp; related to Old Saxon waspa, Old High German wefsa, Latin vespa

Wasp

/wɒsp/
noun acronym (in the US)
1.
White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: a person descended from N European, usually Protestant stock, forming a group often considered the most dominant, privileged, and influential in American society
Derived Forms
Waspy, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for wasp
n.

Old English wæps, wæsp, altered (probably by influence of Latin vespa) from West Germanic *wabis- (cf. Old Saxon waspa, Middle Dutch wespe, Dutch wesp, Old High German wafsa, German Wespe, Danish hveps), from PIE *wobhes-/*wops- (cf. Latin vespa, Lithuanian vapsa, Old Church Slavonic vosa "wasp," Old Irish foich "drone"), perhaps from *webh- "weave" (see weave (v.)). If that is the correct derivation, the insect would be so called for the shape of its nest. Wasp-waist in reference to women's figures is recorded from 1870 (wasp-waisted is from 1775).

WASP

n.

acronym for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, 1962, often said to have been coined by University of Pennsylvania sociologist E. Digby Baltzell (1915-1996), but first recorded reference is in an article by E.B. Palmore in "American Journal of Sociology."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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wasp in Culture

WASP definition


An acronym for “white Anglo-Saxon Protestant” — a member of what many consider to be the most privileged and influential group in American society.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for wasp

WASP

adjective

: Westchester and Darien and places like that, WASP country

noun

A person of non-minority or nonethnic background, ancestry, etc, as conceived in the United States; a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: The Republican Party is run largely by ''wasps'' (1962+ Sociologists)

[said to have been coined by the Philadelphia author E Digby Baltzell]


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for wasp

Wasp

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant

WASP

World Association for Social Psychiatry
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

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9
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