Whiffler
Whiffler Whif"fler, n. [1913 Webster] 1. One who whiffles, or frequently changes his opinion or course; one who uses shifts and evasions in argument; hence, a trifler. [1913 Webster]

Every whiffler in a laced coat who frequents the chocolate house shall talk of the constitution. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

2. One who plays on a whiffle; a fifer or piper. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

3. An officer who went before procession to clear the way by blowing a horn, or otherwise; hence, any person who marched at the head of a procession; a harbinger. [1913 Webster]

Which like a mighty whiffler 'fore the king, Seems to prepare his way. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Note: ``Whifflers, or fifers, generally went first in a procession, from which circumstance the name was transferred to other persons who succeeded to that office, and at length was given to those who went forward merely to clear the way for the procession. . . . In the city of London, young freemen, who march at the head of their proper companies on the Lord Mayor's day, sometimes with flags, were called whifflers, or bachelor whifflers, not because they cleared the way, but because they went first, as whifflers did.'' --Nares. [1913 Webster]

4. (Zo["o]l) The golden-eye. [Local, U. S.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • whiffler — [hwif′lər, wif′lər] n. [< WHIFFLE + ER] a person who vacillates or shifts position frequently in argument …   English World dictionary

  • whiffler — I. noun Etymology: alteration of earlier wifler, from obsolete wifle battle ax Date: 1539 British one that clears the way for a procession II. noun Etymology: whiffle Date: 1607 1. a person who frequently changes opinions or course …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • whiffler — whiffler1 /hwif leuhr, wif /, n. 1. a person who frequently shifts opinions, attitudes, interests, etc. 2. a person who is vacillating or evasive in an argument. [1600 10; WHIFFLE + ER1] whiffler2 /hwif leuhr, wif /, n. Hist. an attendant who… …   Universalium

  • Whiffler — An attendant who carried a battle axe or spear; one who used a spear or staff to clear a way through a crowd. [< OldEngl. wifel = a javelin] …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • whiffler — n. indecisive person; evasive person …   English contemporary dictionary

  • whiffler — whif·fler …   English syllables

  • whiffler — I. ˈ(h)wiflə(r) noun ( s) Etymology: alteration of earlier wifler, from obsolete English wifle battle ax (from Middle English, from Old English wifel dart, javelin) + English …   Useful english dictionary

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