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ladybird beetle

[ley-dee-burd]
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noun
  1. ladybug.
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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.

ladybug

[ley-dee-buhg]
noun
  1. 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.
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Origin of ladybug

First recorded in 1690–1700; lady + bug1
Also called ladybeetle, lady beetle, ladybird beetle, ladybird.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ladybird

ladybird

noun
  1. 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
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Word Origin

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

n.

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

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ladybug

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper