Contraction of "whimper", a sound a wimp might make. The term is rumored to have come from "Wimps", a group of French Roma who were kicked out of France, then moved to England and were kicked out again, then moved to the United States. The term was understood in the United States by the 1930s, as it was incorporated into the names of two famous media characters known for living up to that name: The devious but cowardly Popeye supporting character called "J. Wellington Wimpy", and the soft-spoken character "Wallace Wimple" from the radio show Fibber McGee and Molly.
- Rhymes: -ɪmp
wimp (plural wimps)
- (pejorative, slang) someone who lacks confidence, is irresolute and wishy-washy
- Alternative spelling of WIMP.
- (intransitive) To behave submissively, inde.
1994, Paul Lyons, Class of '66: Living in Suburban Middle America, page 156:
- "They were wimping along and I was accomplished," she asserts with some pride and a touch of arrogance.
- (transitive) To render wimpy.
2003, Andrea Schulte-Peevers, California, page 69:
- If you're particularly fond of Foster's, Heineken or Moosehead at home, you will be disappointed to find that it's been wimped down for the American market.