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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Whirligig \Whirl"i*gig\, n. [Whirl + gig.] [1913 Webster] 1. A child's toy, spun or whirled around like a wheel upon an axis, or like a top. --Johnson. [1913 Webster] 2. Anything which whirls around, or in which persons or things are whirled about, as a frame with seats or wooden horses. [1913 Webster] With a whirligig of jubilant mosquitoes spinning about each head. --G. W. Cable. [1913 Webster] 3. A mediaeval instrument for punishing petty offenders, being a kind of wooden cage turning on a pivot, in which the offender was whirled round with great velocity. [1913 Webster] 4. (Zool.) Any one of numerous species of beetles belonging to Gyrinus and allied genera. The body is firm, oval or boatlike in form, and usually dark colored with a bronzelike luster. These beetles live mostly on the surface of water, and move about with great celerity in a gyrating, or circular, manner, but they are also able to dive and swim rapidly. The larva is aquatic. Called also weaver, whirlwig, and whirlwig beetle. [1913 Webster]