How Did The Dragonfly Get Its Name?


2 Answers

Oscar De La Huerte Profile
The origin of the word 'dragonfly' is not known, but the flying creature that we know by this name has appeared under different names around the world - and is often referred to in mythology as being associated with the devil.

The name of the dragonfly

Although no-one actually knows where the name 'dragonfly' first came from, the history of this creature's name is quite fascinating.

  • Records show that use of the word 'dragonfly' in English only started around the early 1600s. Before that, it was known as the 'Adderbolt'.
  • The name Adderbolt is obviously based on the name of a snake - the adder, which in turn has its etymological roots in the West Germanic word nædro - meaning 'pertaining to a snake'.
  • In biology, the term 'dragonfly' actually refers to a number of different species of the sub-order Anisoptera, meaning 'uneven wings' in Greek.
Because of its unusual appearance and almost other-worldly acrobatic skills, people have often associated the dragonfly with being supernatural.

In many cases, this winged creature is associated with the devil. This is reflected in the following names that the dragonfly has also been known by:

  • Horse stinger
  • Devil's needle
  • Ear cutter
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The dragonfly got its name because many Indians believed that it was a dragon, but too small to breath fire.

They knew what flies were and it looked like a fly and a dragon so they called it dragonfly!

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