English everyday – whinge and whine

Whinge, whine, moan, grumble, bitch, just stop with all your complaining!

Whinging is a great British past-time, we love to have a good whinge about the weather, our jobs, the government, the local shops, other drivers, people on the bus, the quality of Cadbury’s chocolate or the amount of crisps in a  packet. Honestly we’ll complain about anything, but ask us if there is a problem and the answer is: “No, everything’s fine, thanks!”

Whinge is pronounced with a soft j sound at the end /wɪn(d)ʒ/, and often appears with whine (same pronunciation as wine you drink), which actually means the same thing. Both words are from onomatopoeic origins. What does that mean? Well, both words sound like they sound. Imagine a small child crying because it wants an ice cream, or an adult complaining about their job – you might hear a high-pitched, long, wee-wee kind of sound, that’s the whinge. Whine also describes the sound the cold, winter wind makes in trees, or the sound of an arrow flying through the air. So together whinge and whine are annoying, maybe high-pitched, long sounds that are a bit irritating.

So what are you whinging about today, any complaints for me?!








Published by Abbie

English teacher, coach and writer. Helping English learners and teachers get more confident in their skills.

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