from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A snake fabled to take its tail in its mouth and roll along like a hoop; specifically, Abastor erythrogrammus, a harmless species of the family Colubridæ, abundant in the southern United States.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
He stretched his neck and saw that which suggested an overgrown hoop-snake rolling down the hill.
I had been told of this by eyewitnesses over and over, but I had always put it down as a snake story, for these same witnesses would also tell me the hoop-snake story, only it was their grandfathers, always, who had seen this creature take its tail in its mouth and roll, and hit and kill a fifty-dollar apple-tree (the tree was invariably worth fifty dollars).
There is no such thing as a "hoop-snake" save in the vivid imaginations of a very few men.
Once on a Cunard steamship I heard an architect from San Francisco tell the story of the hoop-snake, which takes its tail in its teeth and rolls over the prairies at a speed equal to any express train.
I confess I was deceived in -- I won't say that man, but that hoop-snake.
I recognized them as old acquaintances of the Rue St. Antoine and the Champs Elysées; but the little boy who cried before, because he did not want to bend his head and foot into a ring, like a hoop-snake, had learned his part better by this time, so that he went through it all without whimpering and came off with only a fiery red face.