American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various European beetles of the family Scarabaeidae, especially Melolontha melolontha, which is destructive to plants.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The popular name of a very common lamellicorn beetle of Europe, Melolontha vulgaris. Also called May-beetle, May-bug, dor-beetle, and dor-bug.
- n. Any one of various similar or related beetles.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) A beetle of the genus Melolontha (esp. Melolontha vulgaris) and allied genera; -- called also
May bug, chafer, or dorbeetle.
- n. any of various large European beetles destructive to vegetation as both larvae and adult
- Possibly cock1 + chafer. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The common beetle called cockchafer is here known only as the _oak-web_, and a smaller beetle as _fern-web_.”
“A cockchafer came droning over the hedge and past us.”
“M. de Bargeton pervaded the house like a cockchafer; it never entered his head that his wife could wish to be alone with Lucien.”
“His name was that of a tiny estate called les Canquoelles, a word meaning cockchafer in some districts, situated in the department of Vaucluse, whence he had come.”
“There you sit rustling my dress like a cockchafer in a paper-bag, and making me laugh with contempt.”
“Bargeton held him fast by this clue, as a child holds a cockchafer by a string.”
“I am safely ... my character is safely in his own bed, but it threatens to become his bride's bed too, so my reluctant bridegroom imagines sending his properly decked-out body to the wedding while he remains at home, unable to venture beyond his blankets, because -- well -- because he is a large beetle, a stag beetle or cockchafer, I think ...”
“The Signora spitted him, as a boy does a cockchafer on a cork, that she might enjoy the energetic agony of his gyrations.”
“All this the signora understood, and felt much interest as she saw her cockchafer whirl round upon her pin.”
“A cockchafer buzzed by, a moth flew in his face, the music stopped, and little Jon drew his head in.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘cockchafer’.
When you want to be pedantic AND childish.
Bona fide words that appear misspelled or made-up. See also “Correctly-spelled words that look like misspellings of other words”.
Insects and other arthropods, but not butterflies or spiders--1. (I should make this into several monophyletic lists, sometime...)
tarantula hawk, fluffy bum, masked hunter, cow killer, wandering violin ..., tooth-necked fung..., velvet ant, pleasing fungus b..., powderpost beetle, death watch beetle, velvet worm, ironic fly and 96 more...
From Notre Dame de Paris by good ole Victor Hugo. (Also called The Hunchback of Notre Dame.)
Hopefully, I'll be using this site for more than one year. It will be fun then to look back and see what new words I found worthy of notice in any given year.
All words spotted in 2008...
Words that sound like you're saying something bad!!!
Words gathered while reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
Words that seem nasty, but aren't. Don't like it? Well... you're full of cockles.
Looking for tweets for cockchafer.