January 14, 2019
mosquito (noun)
\muh-SKEE-toh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: any of numerous two-winged flies of which the females have a needlelike structure of the mouth region adapted to puncture the skin and suck the blood of animals
How do you use it?
"In the muddy places where deer's tracks were thick and every hoofprint held water, swarms of mosquitoes rose up with a keen sharp buzzing." (Laura Ingalls Wilder, _Little House on the Prairie_)
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these words do you think is related to "mosquito"?

Don't swat away B it's the right answer. "Mosquito" comes from "mosca," the Spanish word for "fly." The "-ito" suffix turns it into "little fly." "Midge," another very small fly that's sometimes called a "gnat," likewise traces its name back to "mosca." The muzzle-loading firearm known as the "musket" that was once carried by soldiers also comes from the Spanish word for "fly." Perhaps the people who coined the word hoped that their weapon would, like the mosquito, annoy the enemy and cause them to lose some blood.
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