Word of the Day Archive
Saturday February 23, 2013
1. to subject to two opposing forces at the same time: The real-estate market has been whipsawed by high interest rates and unemployment.
2. to cut with a whipsaw.
3. to win two bets from (a person) at one turn or play, as at faro.
4. (of a trailer, railroad car, etc.) to swing suddenly to the right or left, as in rounding a sharp curve at high speed.
1. a saw for two persons, as a pitsaw, used to divide timbers lengthwise.
The hour was past midnight; rumor and slander continued to whipsaw the throng.
-- Steven Pressfield, Last of the Amazons
Carter's human rights policies were thus whipsawed between moral and strategic considerations, as well as between different parts of the bureaucracy.
-- Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions
They fill the farmer full of hot air and get him to raise a big crop for them to whipsaw on the market, to trim the suckers with.
-- William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
Whipsaw entered into wide usage in the 1530s from a portmanteau combination of "whip" and "saw." "Whip" is derived from the Proto Germanic wippen meaning "to flap violently." "Saw" is derived from the Old English sagu referring to a cutting tool.