Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A beetle of the family Coccinellidæ, order Coleoptera, so called from its graceful form and delicate coloration.
  • noun The pintail duck, Dafila acuta: so called from its graceful form.
  • noun A lady-love; a sweetheart: often used as a term of endearment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of small beetles of the genus Coccinella and allied genera (family Coccinellidæ); -- called also ladybug, ladyclock, lady cow, lady fly, ladybeetle, and lady beetle. Coccinella seplempunctata in one of the common European species. See coccinella.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of the Coccinellidae family of beetles, typically having a round shape and red or yellow spotted elytra.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun small round bright-colored and spotted beetle that usually feeds on aphids and other insect pests

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From lady +‎ bird, the “lady” here referring to the Virgin Mary, Jesus′ mother. Compare German Marienkäfer.

Examples

  • -- And why do the people in Suffolk call a ladybird "Bishop Barnaby?"

    Notes and Queries, Number 02, November 10, 1849

  • The Finnish word for ladybird translates to Blood Gertrude.

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

  • There are about 5,000 species of ladybugs, also known as ladybird beetles, with about 450 species in the United States, Losey said.

    MPNnow Home RSS

  • There are about 5,000 species of ladybugs, also known as ladybird beetles, with about 450 species in the United States, Losey said.

    NBC3 - Local News

  • So when I married I had sixty shirts, and many other things — sewn by my mother and my aunt, all with my initial, and the ladybird, which is our crest.’

    The Ladybird

  • MARIQUITA Mariquita (Spanish for 'ladybird') is the sole survivor of the

    YBW News

  • A special YogaBugs session – face-painting and dressing up as a ladybird or caterpillar is optional – will offer a chance for over-excited souls to unwind a little.

    This week's new events

  • The first of these introductions begins on Thursday with the release of 30 ladybird spiders into the RSPB's Arne reserve in Dorset.

    UK's rarest spider moves house in a plastic bottle

  • It is the mature male ladybird spiders that have the bright red bodies covered in small black spots, which give the species its name.

    UK's rarest spider moves house in a plastic bottle

  • Both girls had some trouble understanding his accent, and they were thrown off by his use of "ladybird" instead of "ladybug" when referring to the red-and-white sweater Gabby wants for Christmas.

    You Gotta Believe: Comparing Santa Video Chats

Comments

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  • In Devonshire the lady-bird is " God-a'mighty cow " ; in Lincolnshire, " cow-lady " or " lamb-lady" ; in France, " Vache a Dieu," " bete a bon Dieu," and " bete a Martin."

    The German is " Marienkafer " (Mary's chafer) or " Sonnenkafer " (sun-chafer).

    (Notes and Queries, 1907, page 10)

    January 31, 2009

  • Meeldauwlieveheersbeestje in Dutch.

    January 31, 2009

  • Coccinella in Italian (from Latin, "little scarlet lady").

    January 31, 2009

  • Pro: Does coccinella bear any relationship to cochineal? I seem to recall that cochineal used to be obtained by grinding up the bodies of scarlet insects of some kind.

    garyth: does 'meeldauwlieveheersbeestje' have a literal translation?

    February 1, 2009

  • It seems to mean 'Our Lord's beast', or at least that is what the lieveheersbeestje part means, and that is the word I somewhere came across recently. However I picked up Meeldauwlieveheersbeestje when I thought of adding to the comments here. Meeldauwlieveheersbeestje seems to refer to the orange ladybird, and I've discovered that the orange ladybird feeds on mildew.

    February 1, 2009

  • sionnach, cochineal is a different species, Dactylopius coccus, whose Italian name is cocciniglia. The color carmine (carminus or coccinus in Latin) was (is) traditionally obtained from this insect's body scales and eggs.

    While we are at it: the name of the Italian liqueur Alchermes (or "Alkermes") derives from Arabic al-qirmiz, which means... cochineal.

    February 2, 2009

  • You know what's NOT a bird? A Steeler. Go.

    February 2, 2009

  • Definitely...

    February 2, 2009

  • A cardinal's a bird.

    February 2, 2009

  • Ladybird Johnson's given name? Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson.

    February 2, 2009