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[hwam-ee, wam-ee] /ˈʰwæm i, ˈwæm i/
noun, plural whammies. Informal.
the evil eye; jinx.
bad luck or misfortune.
a devastating blow, setback, or catastrophe:
The drought and the high price of fertilizer are a double whammy to farmers.
put the whammy on,
  1. to give the evil eye to; jinx.
  2. to destroy, end, or eradicate:
    New controls will put the whammy on irresponsible spending.
Origin of whammy
1935-40; wham + -y2, one of the methods of putting a whammy on someone being to strike the fist into the palm Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for whammy
  • Today's opaque pensions system is unfair to private-sector workers, who suffer a triple whammy.
  • Workers with traditional skills have suffered a triple whammy over the last three decades.
  • One of the biggest issues with them is that they are a double-whammy for slowing down innovation.
  • Bacterial shells deliver a double whammy to cancer.
  • The process makes economic sense but inflicts an environmental double whammy.
  • Poor health is a double-whammy which cuts productivity and earning power, as it increases costs to accommodate for therapies.
  • Now you name me any other product or service that has that triple-whammy: necessary, urgent, and cost-hidden.
  • So, cells with mismatched nuclear and mitochondrial genes face a double whammy of less energy and leaking free radicals.
  • It's a significant double-whammy that could have a lot of potential in controlling mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Mine is a double-whammy, being a vanity message on an organ donor plate.
British Dictionary definitions for whammy


noun (pl) -mies
something which has great, often negative, impact: the double whammy of high interest rates and low wage increases
an evil spell or curse: she was convinced he had put the whammy on her
Word Origin
C20: wham + -y²
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 whammy

often double whammy, "hex, evil eye," 1932, of unknown origin, popularized 1941 in Al Capp's comic strip "Li'l Abner."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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