O.E. hwinan "to whiz or whistle through the air" (only of arrows), also hwinsian "to whine" (of dogs), ultimately of imitative origin (cf. O.N. hvina "to whiz," Ger. wiehern "to neigh"). Meaning "to complain in a feeble way" is first recorded 1530. The noun is from 1633. The northern form of O.E. hwinsian survives in dial. whinge "to complain peevishly."