Double whammy vs whammy

whammy is slang for something that is a setback, a mental or emotion hit. It can also mean, usually in the United States, something like a curse or a hex that brings bad luck on a person. This is usually found in the phrase put the whammy on someone. The plural form is whammies.

double whammy is either a setback that is horrible in two separate ways, or it can mean two setbacks that happen back-to-back. The plural form is double whammies. In this double form, the term loses the hex definition.

The term whammy came from a comic strip where a whammy was literally a curse an villain shot at someone else.


While acknowledging that climate forecasts are inherently uncertain, the reclamation bureau’s 2013 analysis concluded that the Rio Grande could lose roughly a third of its water by this century’s end. In theory, the Rio Grande is engineered and managed to absorb such a whammy with as little misery as possible for the three million people who rely on it. [The New York Times]

“You don’t want to put the whammy on him by comparing him to Magic Johnson and LeBron and Tracy McGrady, but he’s going to be a positionless star,” says ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, who leads the network’s international basketball coverage. [USA Today]

Herefordshire’s schools have been dealt a financial double whammy. They won’t be getting any “basic needs” funding from central government for at least the next two years because they have too many spare places. [Hereford Times]

Offensive fouls are double whammies because they end an offensive possession while moving an aggressive scorer one step closer to a disqualification. [Bleacher Report]

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