Student Dictionary

One entry found for earwig.
Main Entry: ear·wig
Pronunciation: -secondarystresswig
Function: noun
Etymology: Old English emacronarwicga, from emacronare "ear" and wicga "insect"
: any of numerous insects with slender many-jointed antennae and a large forcepslike organ at the end of the body
Word History Centuries ago it was thought that a certain insect, whose body ended in what looked like a pair of pincers, crawled into people's ears. The Old English name for this insect was emacronarwicga, a compound of emacronare, meaning "ear," and wicga, meaning "insect." Earwig, our modern English name for the insect, comes from the Old English word, even though we know that the old belief is not true.

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