Origin of earthworm
Regional variation note
Because the worm often comes to the surface of the earth when the ground is cool or wet, it is also called a nightwalker in New England, a nightcrawler, chiefly in the Northern, North Midland, and Western U.S., and a dew worm, chiefly in the Inland North and Canada. It is also called a red worm in the North Central, South Midland, and Southern U.S.
Examples from the Web for earthworm
Rossellini enthusiastically acts out various sex acts while costumed as an earthworm, a spider, a bee, and other invertebrates.
The earthworm fauna is again quite without Geoscolecidae and of course Lumbricidae.Earthworms and their Allies|Frank E. Beddard
War was war in those days, not like this earthworm war that has replaced it.War Letters of a Public-School Boy|Paul Jones.
And then reflect upon the motor-scorcher and the earthworm and the blow-fly.The Vanishing Man|R. Austin Freeman
British Dictionary definitions for earthworm
Word Origin and History for earthworm
1590s, from earth + worm (n.). In this sense Old English had eorðmata, also regnwyrm, literally "rain-worm." Old English also had angel-twæcce "earthworm used as bait," with second element from root of twitch, sometimes used in medieval times as a medicament.
For the blake Jawndes take angylltwacches, er þei go in to the erth in the mornynge and fry hem. Take ix or x small angyltwacches, and bray hem, and giff the syke to drynke fastynge, with stale ale, but loke þat thei bene grounden so small that þe syke may nat se, ne witt what it is, for lothynge. [Book of Medical Recipes in Medical Society of London Library, c.1450]