- any of numerous social or solitary hymenopterous insects of the Vespidae, Sphecidae, and allied families, generally having a long, slender body and narrow waist and, in the female, a stinger.
- a person who is snappish or petulant.
Origin of wasp
- a member of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, an organization disbanded in 1944.
- a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
- a member of the privileged, established white upper middle class in the U.S.
Origin of WASP2
- a satirical comedy (422 b.c.) by Aristophanes.
Examples from the Web for wasps
“WASPs are like the Alawites of America, a rare breed,” says the now 70-year-old Sheehy.Gail Sheehy Books Passage to the Past
September 3, 2014
Scott did his best to play his role as the Walter White of the WASPs.Preppy Drug Bust High on Hype
April 23, 2014
Wasps, birds, rodents, small mammals, and snakes will all dine on the Magicicadas of Brood II.Can You Eat Cicadas? Yes, and Here’s How
May 16, 2013
Nearly empty of Wasps, however, are electric-car manufactories, Internet startups, and the X Games.
For generations—the three centuries when Wasps ran the country—my family rose and stayed aloft.
Deprived of slavery, they are like wasps that have lost their stings.The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
When the bottles are filled with insects, the liquor must be poured into another vial, and the wasps crushed on the ground.
Wasps we knew well and disdained, storming them in their fastnesses.The Golden Age
The wasps were there, dozens of them, and they had built a nest in the upper corner of the room.
Brown was alone with the wasps, and they were lively company.
- 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
- White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: a person descended from N European, usually Protestant stock, forming a group often considered the most dominant, privileged, and influential in American society
Word Origin and History for wasps
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).
An acronym for “white Anglo-Saxon Protestant” — a member of what many consider to be the most privileged and influential group in American society.