Whiffler

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Whiffler 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. "Which like a mighty whiffler 'fore the king,
      Seems to prepare his way."
    • Whiffler One who plays on a whiffle; a fifer or piper.
    • Whiffler One who whiffles, or frequently changes his opinion or course; one who uses shifts and evasions in argument; hence, a trifler. "Every whiffler in a laced coat who frequents the chocolate house shall talk of the constitution."
    • Whiffler (Zoöl) The golden-eye.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n whiffler A piper or fifer.
    • n whiffler A herald or usher; a person who leads the way, or prepares the way, for another: probably so called because the pipers (see piper,1) usually led the procession.
    • n whiffler One who whiffles; one who changes frequently his opinion or course; one who uses shifts and evasions in argument; a fickle or unsteady person.
    • n whiffler A puffer of tobacco; a whiffer.
    • n whiffler The whistlewing, or goldeneye duck.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Whiffler a fickle person: a herald, usher, piper, leading the way in a procession
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
W. chwiff, a puff; imit.

Usage

In literature:

Mr. Whiffler and his friend are left alone together, but Mr. Whiffler's thoughts are still with his family, if his family are not with him.
"Sketches by Boz illustrative of everyday life and every-day people" by Charles Dickens
Inefficient Whiffler whimpered out his story.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862" by Various
Such whifflers are below my scorn, and beneath my spite.
"A Select Collection of Old English Plays" by Robert Dodsley
Correspondence of Sylvanus Urban: Whifflers in Norwich and in London (with Engravings).
"Notes and Queries, Vol. V, Number 119, February 7, 1852" by Various
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