give it a whirl

give it a whirl

Meaning

  • to try something new.
  • to make an attempt, frequently for the first time.
  • to try something new even if you have never done it before.

Variants | Synonyms

  • give it a try
  • give it a shot
  • give it a try
  • give it a go
  • give it a bash
  • give it a stab

Examples in Sentences

  1. The ski instructor told Sally to “give it a whirl” on the beginner’s ski slope by following his exact moves.
  2. The man at the entrance to the new roller coaster at the park told the crowd to “give it a whirl” by forming the first line to get on this exhilarating ride.
  3. Even though Jill was intimidated by the high dive at the pool, the lifeguard on duty mentioned it would be worth it to “give it a whirl” by climbing up the ladder, then surprising the staff by performing a “cannon ball” that can splash the onlookers with water.
  4. I plan to “give it a whirl” tonight by driving around in my grandfather’s favorite car, the Shelby Cobra.

Origin

While the phrase “giving it a whirl” can be similar to “giving it a go” or “giving it a try,” the actual origins of it are quite interesting. Indeed, the first use of “give it a whirl” was in the middle to late 19th century. During the mid-Victorian era in America, the technique involving a woman in a long gown starting to whirl her dress on the dance floor with a specific movement was quite a spectacle. The revealing of a girl’s ankles and lower legs was sure to attract more attention in the 1850s, as the culture started to become less strict as far as dancing and activities during a dance were concerned.

The phrase “give it a whirl” has evolved from the whirling of an actual dress to taking on an unfamiliar, daunting, or intimidating task. Indeed, it is a verb first and foremost. The phrase is meant to help initiate an action.

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