I need a word for the act of impotently whining and crying over something that you can't change —like, for example, moaning and groaning about what to do now that Trump is President-Elect instead of finding something actually useful to do.

  • 3
    The term whining covers it per se. Impotent whining would be pleonasm. – Brian Donovan Dec 22 '16 at 23:26
  • @BrianDonovan, yes, I know, but for whatever reason I didn't like "whining". I was writing something for publication and "whining" wasn't a good choice. – Cyberherbalist Dec 24 '16 at 14:20

"Hand-wringing" is used to express the idea that someone is "fretting" over something and instead of taking positive action, just stands by, impotently wringing their hands.

Hand-wringing as defined by MWO:

an overwrought expression of concern or guilt

This expression dates back to 1922 (per MWO).


I think the word moping works.


To be unhappy and unwilling to think or act in a positive way, especially because of a disappointment.

'There's no point in sitting at home and moping - get out there and find yourself another job!' (Cambridge Dictionary)

‘But he frequently has been his own worst enemy by moping and overanalyzing, leading to a loss of confidence and bad habits.’ (OED)


There's always the British "whinging," which I think of as "extra-strength whining". (Also, with respect to the Trunp presidency, I think "grieving" may be what you're observing in others.

  • No, it's definitely "whinging". I know what grieving looks like, and I can commiserate with it. The Trump-whinger people are too pathetic to commiserate with. +1 for "extra-strength whining"! – Cyberherbalist Dec 24 '16 at 14:22

Of course bleating comes from the sound of a sheep or a goat, but it has come to mean a feeble whining, which is pretty close to an impotent whining. The Free Dictionary: bleating ". 2. A whining, feeble complaint."

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