Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 31, 2017 is:
whirligig \WER-lih-gig\ noun
1 : a child's toy having a whirling motion
2 a : one that continuously whirls
b : a whirling or circling course (as of events)
"As 2016 draws mercifully to a close, just what, exactly, are we to make of this bewildering whirligig of a year?" — Brian Chasnoff, The San Antonio News-Express, 30 Dec. 2016
"The whirligig, an object that spins or whirls, may have started as a farmer's weathervane, but it evolved into a recognized piece of American folk art." — Michelle Galler, RappNews.com (Rappahannock County, VA), 8 Dec. 2016
Did you know?
English speakers, and particularly children, began spinning whirligigs as early as the 15th century. Since then, whirligig has acquired several meanings beyond its initial toy sense. It even has a place in the common name of the whirligig beetle
, a member of the family Gyrinidae that swiftly swims in circles on the surface of still water. The word whirligig comes to us from Middle English whirlegigg ("whirling top"), which is itself from whirlen, meaning "to whirl," and gigg, meaning "(toy) top."