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cuckoo-spit

[koo-koo-spit, koo k-oo-]
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noun
  1. Also called frog spit. a frothy secretion found on plants, exuded by the young of certain insects, as the froghoppers, and serving as a protective covering.
  2. an insect that produces this secretion.

Origin of cuckoo-spit

1350–1400; Middle English cokkowespitle cuckoopint; so called from the spitlike secretion found on the plant and thought to be left by the bird
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cuckoo-spit

Historical Examples

  • There is no commoner sight in the early summer than the cuckoo-spit on the grasses and herbage by the wayside.

    The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4)

    J. Arthur Thomson

  • They call it cuckoo-spit, from its plentiful appearance about the arrival of that bird.