ladybird beetle



Origin of ladybird beetle

1730–40, Americanism; lady (uninflected possessive case) Virgin Mary + bird; i.e. (our) Lady's bird
Also called la·dy·bird.




any of numerous small, round, often brightly colored and spotted beetles of the family Coccinellidae, feeding chiefly on aphids and other small insects, but including several forms that feed on plants.

Origin of ladybug

First recorded in 1690–1700; lady + bug1
Also called ladybeetle, lady beetle, ladybird beetle, ladybird. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ladybird

Contemporary Examples of ladybird

  • But then the biggest danger we faced was tripping over the occasional turtle that clambered out of Ladybird Lake.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Ranger Rick and the Coyote

    Carol Flake Chapman

    September 10, 2011

Historical Examples of ladybird

British Dictionary definitions for ladybird



any of various small brightly coloured beetles of the family Coccinellidae, such as Adalia bipunctata (two-spotted ladybird), which has red elytra marked with black spotsUsual US and Canadian name: ladybug

Word Origin for ladybird

C18: named after Our Lady, the Virgin Mary
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 ladybird

"sweetheart," 1590s, from lady + bird (n.2).



1690s, from lady + bug (n.). The "lady" is the Virgin Mary (cf. German cognate Marienkäfer). In Britain, now usually ladybird beetle (1704), through aversion to the word bug, which there has overtones of sodomy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper