Old English hwelp 'pup, wolf cub', from Proto-Germanic *hwelpaz (compare Dutch welp, obsolete German Welf, Danish hvalp), from pre-Germanic *kʷelbos, from Proto-Indo-European *gʷelbhos (compare Old Church Slavonic жрѣбѧ (žrěbę) 'foal', Latin vulva, bolva, volba 'womb', Ancient Greek βρέφος (bréphos) 'fœtus, newborn', Hittite huēlpi 'overipe, fresh; newborn animal', Sanskrit उल्ब (úlba, úlva) 'womb').
whelp (plural whelps)
- A young offspring of a canid (ursid, felid, pinniped), especially of a dog or a wolf, the young of a bear or similar mammal (lion, tiger, seal); a pup, wolf cub.
- (derogatory) An insolent youth; a mere child.
- That awkward whelp with his money bags would have made his entrance.
- (obsolete) A kind of ship.
- One of several wooden strips to prevent wear on a windlass on a clipper-era ship.
- A tooth on a sprocket wheel (compare sprocket, def. 2; cog, def. 1).
Derived terms 
- fox whelp, fox-whelp, fox's whelp (foxling)
- (Newfoundland) whelping ice
- wolf whelp, wolf-whelp, wolf's whelp
See also 
- (transitive, intransitive) (of she-dog, she-wolf, vixen, etc.) To give birth.
- The bitch whelped.
- The she-wolf whelped a large litter of cubs.