butterfly

\ \ [OE] A number of theories have been put forward as to how the butterfly got its name.
\ \ Perhaps the most generally accepted is that it is a reflection of a once-held notion that butterflies land on and consume butter or milk left uncovered in kitchen or dairy (an idea perhaps supported by the German name for the ‘butterfly’, milchdieb, literally ‘milk-thief’).
\ \ Other suggestions are that the word is a reference to the yellow wings of certain species of the insect, or to the colour of butterflies’ excrement.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Butterfly — (engl. für ‚Schmetterling‘) steht für: Butterflymesser oder Balisong, eine Klappmesserart Butterfly (Finanzwesen), eine Investitionsstrategie Butterfly Verschluss, einen stabilen Verschluss, besonders an Transportkisten Venenverweilkanüle, eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ButterFly — ButterFly …   Википедия

  • Butterfly — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Butterfly (en inglés: mariposa) puede referirse: Contenido 1 Música 1.1 Álbumes 1.2 Canciones 2 V …   Wikipedia Español

  • butterfly — [but′ərflī΄] n. pl. butterflies [ME buterflie < OE buttorfleoge (see BUTTER & FLY2): in folklore, it is thought to steal milk or butter] 1. any of various families of lepidopteran insects active in the daytime, having a sucking mouthpart,… …   English World dictionary

  • Butterfly — But ter*fly , n.; pl. {Butterflies}. [Perh. from the color of a yellow species. AS. buter fl[=e]ge, buttor fle[ o]ge; cf. G. butterfliege, D. botervlieg. See {Butter}, and {Fly}.] (Zo[ o]l.) A general name for the numerous species of diurnal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • butterfly — O.E. buttorfleoge, perhaps based on the old notion that the insects (or witches disguised as butterflies) consume butter or milk that is left uncovered. Or, less creatively, simply because the pale yellow color of many species wings suggests the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • butterfly — m DEFINICIJA v. baterflaj …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • butterfly — ► NOUN 1) an insect with two pairs of large, typically colourful wings held erect when at rest, feeding on nectar and active by day. 2) a showy or frivolous person. 3) (butterflies) informal a fluttering and nauseous sensation felt in the stomach …   English terms dictionary

  • Butterfly — calesButterflies are characterized by their scale covered wings.The coloration of butterfly wings is created by minute scales. These scales are pigmented with melanins that give them blacks and browns, but blues, greens, reds and iridescence are… …   Wikipedia

  • Butterfly — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Butterfly », sur le Wiktionnaire (dictionnaire universel) Butterfly est le mot anglais qui signifie… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • butterfly — butterflylike, adj., adv. /but euhr fluy /, n., pl. butterflies, v., butterflied, butterflying, adj. n. 1. any of numerous diurnal insects of the order Lepidoptera, characterized by clubbed antennae, a slender body, and large, broad, often… …   Universalium

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