wimp

Definitions

General English

Computing

  • noun
    (written as WIMP)
    a program display which uses graphics or icons to control the software and make it easier to use.
  • acronym forcommand line interface
    (written as WIMP)
  • acronym forenvironment
    (written as WIMP)
  • acronym forGUI
    (written as WIMP)
  • acronym forwindow, icon, mouse, pointer
    (written as WIMP)
  • noun a user interface in which the user controls the operating system or program by typing in commands; e.g. DOS is a command line interface

Information & Library Science

  • noun
    (written as WIMP)
    a description of an integrated software system that is entirely operated using windows, icons and a mouse-controlled pointer.

Slang

  • noun a feeble, weak or timid person. This now well-established term first appeared as a term of derision employed by US high-school and college students in the mid-1970s. Its exact origins are obscure: suggested derivations are from ‘whimper’; from a British undergraduate term for a girl (which was, however, in very limited use and was obsolete by 1930); from the name wimpy, given to a character in the Popeye cartoons; or from a blend of ‘weak’, ‘simple’ or simp and ‘limp’ or gimp. By the late 1970s the word had spread to adult speech and beyond the USA.

Astronomy

  • acronym forWeakly Interacting Massive Particles
    (written as WIMP)
  • A postulated type of matter proposed as a candidate type of dark matter within galaxies

General Science

  • noun a program display which uses graphics or icons to control the software and make it easier to use as system commands do not have to be typed in.

Origin & History of “wimp”

The first record of the word wimp ‘feeble ineffectual person’ is from as long ago as 1920, but it was not used at all widely until the early 1960s. Its origins have never been satisfactorily explained. It is tempting to link it with J. wellington Wimpy, a curious little man with a moustache who featured in the Popeye cartoons, but he was not around in the 1920s. Nor is it altogether plausible that it came from American slang gimp ‘lame or handicapped person’. Perhaps the least unlikely suggestion is that it is short for whimper. No connection with the now obsolete slang wimp ‘woman’ (20th c.) (perhaps an alteration of women) has ever been demonstrated. In the 1980s WIMP was used as an acronym for ‘weakly interacting massive particle’ and for ‘widows/icon/mouse/pointer’, a computer term.
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