pismire

[pis-mahyuh r, piz-]

Origin of pismire

1350–1400; Middle English pissemyre, equivalent to pisse to urinate + obsolete mire ant, perhaps < Scandinavian (compare Danish myre, Swedish myra), cognate with Dutch mier; pejorative name from stench of formic acid proper to ants
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Examples from the Web for pismire

Historical Examples of pismire


British Dictionary definitions for pismire

pismire

noun
  1. an archaic or dialect word for an ant

Word Origin for pismire

C14 (literally: urinating ant, from the odour of formic acid characteristic of an ant hill): from piss + obsolete mire ant, of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse maurr, Middle Low German mīre ant
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 pismire
n.

"ant," late 14c. (early 14c. as a surname), from pyss "urine" (said to be in reference to the acrid smell of an anthill) + mire "an ant," probably from Old Norse maurr "ant" (cf. Swedish myra, Danish myre, Middle Dutch miere, Dutch mier, Crimean Gothic miera "ant"), from PIE base *morwi- (see Formica (2)). Cf. pissant, also early Dutch mierseycke (from seycke "urine"), Finnish kusiainen (from kusi "urine").

He is as angry as a pissemyre,
Though þat he haue al that he kan desire.
[Chaucer]

Applied contemptuously to persons from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper