Whim-whams / Wimwams

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13 comments on this post.
  1. Nancy:

    Wimwams also rhymes with jimjams, which can mean extreme nervousness or jitters (as well as DTs, apparently and pjs in the UK). Hmmm.

  2. h.s. gudnason:

    @ Nancy, and courtesy of W. S. Gilbert:

    When you find you’re a broken-down critter,
    Who is all of a trimmle and twitter,
    With your palate unpleasantly bitter,
    As if you’d just eaten a pill–
    When your legs are as thin as dividers,
    And you’re plagued with unruly insiders,
    And your spine is all creepy with spiders,
    And you’re highly gamboge in the gill–
    When you’ve got a beehive in your head,
    And a sewing machine in each ear,
    And you feel that you’ve eaten your bed,
    And you’ve got a bad headache down here–
    When such facts are about,
    And these symptoms you find
    In your body or crown–
    Well, you’d better look out,
    You may make up your mind
    You had better lie down!

    When your lips are all smeary–like tallow,
    And your tongue is decidedly yallow,
    With a pint of warm oil in your swallow,
    And a pound of tin-tacks in your chest–
    When you’re down in the mouth with the vapours,
    And all over your Morris wall-papers
    Black-beetles are cutting their capers,
    And crawly things never at rest–
    When you doubt if your head is your own,
    And you jump when an open door slams–
    Then you’ve got to a state which is known
    To the medical world as “jim-jams”
    If such symptoms you find
    In your body or head,
    They’re not easy to quell–
    You may make up your mind
    You are better in bed,
    For you’re not at all well!

  3. j.ausum:

    Wim wams. Comic strip “Annie Rooney,” about 1945.

  4. Tom:

    My father always said us kids (me and my two brothers) had the wim-wams when we were acing hyper-active or overly excited, and now I say the same about my clowder of cats. So now to read these other definitions of it, they seem totally wrong in my view, but that’s just coz I was raised believing that.

  5. Kimberly Black:

    My parents used to tell me and my brothers that if we ate before bed it would give us the Whim-whams. I just assumed it meant having bad dreams or what not.

    Now having children of my own and my oldest going to be 18 in a couple of weeks asked me why I would say that and she was trying to look up the definition. I guess she was talking to friends about things their parents would say growing up and she was the only one that had the weird parents. So she said lol

  6. stephanie pyle:

    My mother had an uncanny sense of premonition;she called them the whim whams.
    I get them …a sense of dread…but no foreknowledge.

  7. Geoff Young:

    Origin – my mother, who grew up during World War 2. For use when picking one thing or person out of a group: “Eenie meanie miney moe, Gee I got the wim wams something awful, I hope Hitler dies now, PLEASE!!” You’re It.

  8. t turner:

    since i was a kid my dad always used to say whim-whams
    like if we were going a theme park or it was christmas
    and we couldnt sleep he used to say that we had the whim whams so i just assumed that it was not being able to get to sleep from hyperactiveness could be wrong but he has hundreds of random words and stuff that none of us really knew , we prob asked but over time forgot i will again as i just said it to my partner as were going away and she couldnt sleep so might have to relook at it ,

  9. Mellissa:

    Cet article est vraiment plein de bon sens

  10. Tina:

    The Spook Speaks 1940
    “Stop acting so spooky, or you’ll give me the jim jams.”
    I seems to mean the creeps or the willies.

  11. Jamie Sayers:

    Mentioned in the Stephen King short story Gramma. Think it was used in the context of that good feeling you get in your stomach when you see a girl you like.

  12. Robert:

    In the 1947 B-movie “T-Men,” an undercover agent nervously balks at killing someone. He’s stared down by a gangster who says, “What’s the matter, ya gettin’ the whim-whams?”

  13. Ben McDonnell:

    Amazed to find this. I listen to an online DJ who fills his show with old B movie quotes, and one of them you have quoted; now I know where the quote comes from. The show is “Fool’s Paradise”, from NY or NJ, on WFMU, the DJ is Rex Doane.

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