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Interesting Words And Expressions – Whistleblower

The term ‘whistleblower’ is used to describe a person who tries to raise the alarm about a problem and publicizes it inside and/or outside of his/her organization.

Origin: ‘Whistle blower’ was used literally well before it gained its current figurative meaning. Lots of people blew whistles; hunters, sailors, police officers and sports referees.

In the 19th century we had ‘whistle blowers’, in the 20th we had ‘whistle-blowers’ and now we have ‘whistleblowers’. This changing of an expression into a word, with the intervening hyphenated phase, is one of the most common ways we form new words.


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