Where Did the Term “Wimp” For a Weakling Come From and What Does the Word Mean?

Someone who is weak and indecisive is often called a wimp, which is a short form of the word whimpering.

The origin of wimp is a series of children’s books written in the 1890s by Evelyn Sharp, which featured characters called Wymps who loved playing practical jokes on others but who would cry when jokes were played on them.

In the 1930s, a corpulent Popeye cartoon character named J. Wellington “Wimpy” kept the word alive.

The word “wimp” is often used for a spineless coward.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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