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What is the meaning of "double whammy"?

(K. P. Pillai, Kochi)

The expression "double whammy" first appeared in a cartoon strip, which was quite popular in America in the 1920s. Al Capp, the author of the comic strip "Li'l Abner" used this expression to refer to an intense stare, which had a withering effect on its victims. It's meaning has undergone a considerable amount of change since then. This is how slang dictionaries define "double whammy" — "double the portion of something, especially something troublesome." When you get a "double whammy" of something, it is usually something really bad. Here is an example:

*We thought he'd come alone, but he gave us a double whammy by bringing his wife and children.

S. UPENDRAN

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