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blow fly

or blowfly

any of numerous dipterous insects of the family Calliphoridae that deposit their eggs or larvae on carrion, excrement, etc., or in wounds of living animals.
Origin of blow fly
First recorded in 1815-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for blow-fly
Historical Examples
  • The flies that troubled me most were a large kind of blue-bottle or blow-fly.

    The Malay Archipelago Alfred Russell Wallace
  • And then reflect upon the motor-scorcher and the earthworm and the blow-fly.

    The Vanishing Man

    R. Austin Freeman
  • One wonders what he would have made of a blow-fly buzzing on the pane.

    The Last Harvest John Burroughs
  • I'm a worm, a maggot, brother to the pollywog an' child of the blow-fly.

    Smoke Bellew Jack London
  • A blow-fly buzzed, a fan of whity steam came out of the kettle, and the lid kept up a rattling jig as the water bubbled.

    Bliss, and Other Stories Katherine Mansfield
  • Six P.M., a little extract smeared on the head of a blow-fly.

    Poisons: Their Effects and Detection Alexander Wynter Blyth
  • Front region of Maggot of blow-fly (Calliphora) showing diagrammatically the imaginal discs, which are shaded.

    The Life-Story of Insects Geo. H. Carpenter
  • All these parts are better seen in the proboscis of the blow-fly than in that of the house-fly, on account of their larger size.

  • The larv of the blow-fly are well known to the angler, who uses them for bait, and calls them gentles.

  • But there was no answer; only the cobwebs moved there, though I thought I heard a faint buzzing, which might have been a blow-fly.

    Old Junk H. M. Tomlinson
Word Origin and History for blow-fly

1720, from fly (n.) + blow (v.1) in an obsolete sense "to deposit eggs, to infect with eggs," in reference to to insects, "apparently connected with old notions of natural history" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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