• synonyms


  1. the larva of an antlion.
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Origin of doodlebug1

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70; doodle1 + bug1


  1. any of various small, squat vehicles.
  2. a divining rod or similar device supposedly useful in locating underground water, oil, minerals, etc.
  3. British Informal. buzz bomb.
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Origin of doodlebug2

First recorded in 1865–70; special use of doodlebug1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for doodle-bug

Historical Examples

  • Come on, yu pie-eatin' doodle-bug; I'll beat yu to th' gate!

    Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up

    Clarence Edward Mulford

  • It would be just as good as 'doodle-bug,' and more—more accurate.

    The Unspeakable Perk

    Samuel Hopkins Adams

British Dictionary definitions for doodle-bug


  1. another name for the V-1
  2. a diviner's rod
  3. a US name for antlion (def. 2)
  4. US any of certain insect larvae that resemble the antlion
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Word Origin

C20: probably from doodle + bug 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for doodle-bug


type of beetle or larvae, c.1866, Southern U.S. dialect; see doodle + bug (n.). The same word was applied 1944 in R.A.F. slang to German V-model flying bombs.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper