I understand the literal and physical meaning of whiplash. But I'm a little of confused of its figurative meaning. Does it come from the movement of a whiplash, or otherwise from the feeling someone got whiplashed? Does it mean something change very quick? Or very sudden? Or very Often? Or a sudden change followed by a sudden turning back together? Or hurt or shocked?

some sentences may include (all quoted from vocabulary.com):

Readers may experience whiplash, toggling between her personal journey and the outrageous vignettes starring her fellow group members.

Regardless, the weather whiplash will be a welcome change and will hopefully dampen this year’s nearly continuous fire season.

As Election Day approaches, unresolved voting lawsuits are producing headlines — and whiplash — almost daily.

I'm a new English learner. May anyone give me some examples to help me understand?

  • How do you understand any figurative meaning?
    – Lambie
    Nov 19 '20 at 20:59

Whiplash literally means injuries that result from the sudden accelerations and changes in direction that occur (for example) in a car crash. As your body is thrown forward, you can damage your neck. Your head "whips" forward and back (which is why cars have head restraints)

The first example suggests that the sudden changes in style are confusing make reading difficult.

The second suggests a sudden change in weather conditions, which may solve some problems (fire) but cause others (flooding)

The third suggests that there are sudden changes in law around elections which are causing damage to peoples understanding of how to vote, and confidence in the integrity of the system.

In all cases it is a sudden change that may result in damage.

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