Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Some winged aquatic insect; specifically, a member of the family Perlidæ; a stone-fly.
  • n. A source of petty annoy ance; an insignificant but troublesome person or tiling.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • V. ii.84 (329,2) Dost know this water-fly] A _water-fly_, skips up and down upon the surface of the water, without any apparent purpose or reason, and is thence the proper emblem of a busy trifler.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • It's been goddamn disgusting to watch these gossip columnists and bloggers, these small-minded, heavily made-up wanna-bes, these supercilious, groveling, shiv-pulling, water-fly parasites on popular culture, do their maggoty worse on an artist who's done more for humanity in 10 seconds of acting than they will ever do in their entire lives.

    That Christian Bale freakout is now the "Bale Out" remix.

  • His head spun round like a water-fly, and out of the range of Dicky's pistol he shrieked to the crowd on the shore.

    Donovan Pasha, and Some People of Egypt — Volume 2

  • Shakespearean young men of the brilliant water-fly type, such as Osric.

    Castellinaria and Other Sicilian Diversions

  • "Magic" by Bruce Springsteen (I'm going to see him in concert next Friday) "Shine" by Sarah Bettens (I'm going to see her in concert Dec. 3rd) "37 days" by Beth Hart (I'm going to see her in concert on Dec. 31) water-fly (156 posts) on November 21, 2007 - 1: 14pm.

    AfterEllen.com - Because visibility matters

  • a water-fly, and out of the range of Dicky's pistol he shrieked to the crowd on the shore.

    Donovan Pasha, and Some People of Egypt — Complete

  • It either means an _endurable_ monument such as will outlive time, or it darkly hints at the impending fate of Hamlet.] [Footnote V. 48: _Image of my cause_,] Representation or character.] [Footnote V. 49: _Dost know this water-fly?

    Hamlet

  • _] Dr. Johnson remarks that a _water-fly_ skips up and down upon the surface of the water, without any apparent purpose or reason, and is thence the proper emblem of a busy trifler.] [Footnote V. 50: _All diligence of spirit.

    Hamlet

Comments

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  • All of you are missing the true meaning of waterfly as used in Hamlet.

    When Hamlet asks, "Doest know this waterfly?" Horatio replies, "No, my Lord."

    Hamlet then says, "The better grace is thine, for to know him is a sin." He was using the word "know" in the Biblical sense as in "Adam knew his wife, she conceived and bare Cain."

    Waterfly in this context meant homosexual, not a flittering nuscience.

    July 8, 2018