any social hymenopterous insect of the family Vespidae, esp Vespula vulgaris (common wasp), typically having a black-and-yellow body and an ovipositor specialized for stingingSee also potter wasp, hornet Related adjective: vespine
any of various solitary hymenopterans, such as the digger wasp and gall wasp
acronym for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, 1962, often said to have been coined by University of Pennsylvania sociologist E. Digby Baltzell (1915-1996), but first recorded reference is in an article by E.B. Palmore in "American Journal of Sociology."
Old English wæps, wæsp, altered (probably by influence of Latin vespa) from West Germanic *wabis- (cf. Old Saxon waspa, Middle Dutch wespe, Dutch wesp, Old High German wafsa, German Wespe, Danish hveps), from PIE *wobhes-/*wops- (cf. Latin vespa, Lithuanian vapsa, Old Church Slavonic vosa "wasp," Old Irish foich "drone"), perhaps from *webh- "weave" (see weave (v.)). If that is the correct derivation, the insect would be so called for the shape of its nest. Wasp-waist in reference to women's figures is recorded from 1870 (wasp-waisted is from 1775).