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13 Essential Literary Terms

whoops

[hwoo ps, hwoops, woo ps, woops] /ʰwʊps, ʰwups, wʊps, wups/
interjection
1.
(used to express surprise, mild embarrassment, etc., or as a casual apology.)
Origin
whoop + -s as in oops

whoop

[hoop, hoo p; especially for 1, 11–4, 6–9 hwoop, hwoo p, woop, woo p] /hup, hʊp; especially for 1, 11–4, 6–9 ʰwup, ʰwʊp, wup, wʊp/
noun
1.
a loud cry or shout, as of excitement or joy.
2.
the sound made by a person suffering from whooping cough.
verb (used without object)
3.
to utter a loud cry or shout in expressing enthusiasm, excitement, etc.
4.
to cry as an owl, crane, or certain other birds.
5.
to make the characteristic sound accompanying the deep intake of air following a series of coughs in whooping cough.
verb (used with object)
6.
to utter with or as if with a whoop.
7.
to whoop to or at.
8.
to call, urge, pursue, or drive with whoops:
to whoop dogs on.
interjection
9.
(used as a cry to attract attention from afar, or to show excitement, encouragement, enthusiasm, etc.)
Verb phrases
10.
whoop up, Informal. to promote or praise; extol:
a class reunion where they whoop up the good old days.
Idioms
11.
not worth a whoop, Informal. to be worthless:
Their promises aren't worth a whoop.
12.
whoop it up, Informal.
  1. to raise a disturbance, as to celebrate noisily:
    They whooped it up after winning the big game.
  2. to stir up enthusiasm, as for an idea or project:
    Every spring they whoop it up for the circus.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English whopen, Old English hwōpan to threaten; cognate with Gothic hwopan to boast
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for whoops
  • As the two splashed in the cool, green water, whoops rose from the bank.
  • whoops, he does get two meaty bones after playing ball with my husband every evening but that is it.
  • The crowd erupted with whoops and cheers of excitement.
  • Then war whoops, shrieks, and laughter and regather together as if any arms might ever really hold.
  • He is almost upon their camp when he hears several whoops and shouts.
  • Their whoops and jeers accompany every haymaker and uppercut thrown.
  • There were whoops and cheers from the fans, understandably.
  • whoops, maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves with that kind of talk.
  • whoops, sorry about the f-bomb in the first comment above.
British Dictionary definitions for whoops

whoops

/wʊps/
interjection
1.
an exclamation of surprise, as when a person falls over, or of apology

whoop

/wuːp/
verb
1.
to utter (speech) with loud cries, as of enthusiasm or excitement
2.
(med) to cough convulsively with a crowing sound made at each inspiration
3.
(of certain birds) to utter (a hooting cry)
4.
(transitive) to urge on or call with or as if with whoops
5.
(informal) whoop it up (wʊp; wuːp)
  1. to indulge in a noisy celebration
  2. (US) to arouse enthusiasm
noun
6.
a loud cry, esp one expressing enthusiasm or excitement
7.
(med) the convulsive crowing sound made during a paroxysm of whooping cough
8.
(informal) not worth a whoop, worthless
See also whoops
Word Origin
C14: of imitative origin
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 whoops

exclamation of dismay, 1925; see oops.

whoop

v.

mid-14c., houpen, partly imitative, partly from Old French houper "to cry out," also imitative. It is attested as an interjection from at least mid-15c. The noun is recorded from c.1600. Extended form whoopee is attested from 1845, originally American English; whoopee cushion is attested from 1960. Phrase whoop it up "create a disturbance" is recorded from 1884. Expression whoop-de-do is recorded from 1929. Whooping cough (1739) is now the prevalent spelling of hooping cough; whooping crane is recorded from 1791.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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whoops in Medicine

whoop (hōōp, hwōōp, wōōp)
n.
The paroxysmal gasp characteristic of whooping cough.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for whoops

whoops

noun

A blunder; serious mistake; goof, oops: ''I think we got a whoops,'' said a police inspector (1980s+)

verb

(also whoops up) To vomit; oops: A man had whoopsed into his National Observer (1980s+)


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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14
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