Whiffler

January 15, 2022

Whiffler /  hwif-ler / noun 

Definition: Whiffler is a word used as a noun to describe a person who frequently changes their opinion, interest, attitude or course and becomes vacillating and evasive in an argument. The word also refers to an individual who plays on a whiffle. In other terms, a whiffler can also refer to a piper or a fifer.

Additionally, a whiffler also refers to an officer who cleared the way before a procession by horn-blowing. So, anyone leading or preparing the way for others by marching at a procession’s head is a Whiffler.

Etymology: The initial recorded use of the term whiffler was in the early 16th century, from 1530 to 1540, as a combination of wiffle and –er

Back then, people used this word to refer to an armed attendant that was an equivalent to waffle, a variant of Old English wifel and Middle English wifel. The wh spelling probably came about due to the relationship with whiff.

In a Sentence

On Monday morning, Peter the Whiffler handed over the safe keys to the warden at the main gate.

Superintendent Whiffler summoned everyone to witness the swearing-in of his successor.

John couldn’t help but be a whiffler when it came to his in-laws; he just wanted to please them so badly. 

Synonyms 

Undependable, Ineffective, Evasive 

Antonyms 

Reliable, Steady, Consistent

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