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I am such a slug. If I was any sluggier, I'd have tentacles and leave a trail of slime behind me as I VERY SLOWLY slithered about. In order to check to see if there were any usefully named parts of a slug for the previous sentence, I was forced to google "parts of a slug" and now I'm all icked out. I've been on Wikipedia a lot lately; Google consistently leads me there. I learned the other day, just by random chance, that the bugs I have always called Daddy Longlegs are not, in fact, a Daddy Longlegs spider. They are Harvestmen. Did you know this? It wasn't because I was interested in spiders or daddy longlegs...Wikipedia led me there by some intricate route of tangents and links.

In case you didn't know, THIS is a Harvestman, which is not actually a spider, though it's an arachnid (which is what I thought made a spider a spider). This is a Cellar Spider, which is also called Daddy Longlegs and is the only one of THREE insects so called which is actually a spider. The third of the creatures which is often referred to as a Daddy Longlegs is a FLY: the Crane Fly. Which amuses me, because we always refer to Crane flies as Skeeter Eaters. They don't eat mosquitoes, though, more's the pity.

In fact, I think Crane flies might have some of the best nicknames ever. In various places, in addition to daddy long-legs and skeeter eaters, they are also called gallinippers and gollywhoppers. Gallinippers & Gollywhoppers! That's awesome.

Interestingly, though probably only to me, the word slug is probably of Scandinavian origin, having come to Middle English as sluggard from the Norwegian word slugga which means to walk sluggishly. Hmm...circular reasoning anyone? So, really, and grammatically speaking, when I'm declaring how lazy I am being, I shouldn't be referring to myself as a SLUG. Slugs are, unless hibernating, quite energetic apparently, and some species can actually destroy foliage faster than the plants can grow.

HOWEVER, this particular fact that Wikipedia states has caused me to want to scrub out my brain: In a few rare cases, humans have contracted parasite-induced meningitis from eating raw slugs.

I'm sorry, but fut the whuck? That would infer that most cases of eating raw slugs do NOT end up with meningitis, and HELLO WHY WOULD ANYONE EAT A RAW SLUG?! Or any slug, for that matter? I am not going to google further. I AM NOT GOING TO GOOGLE THIS.

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Arranged for Milking (via Mimi Smartypants)

Currently Crushing on: Tootsie Fruit Rolls. Yum yum!

Bang! Pow! Badoom! Belated Birthday Wishes to alcesalces and Chuck!
mood: amused
music: Katie Melua—A Moment of Madness

From Megsie

So, did you google it? Ewww. I love how much you love words. May I copy this post for my students? I am collecting things for them, and this is awesome!


Re: From Megsie

NO. I did NOT google it. I am STILL not googling it. And yes, of course, you may, especially the "fut the whuck" part! Haa!

I guess harvestmen (also a cool name!) are the ones called "lockespindel" in Swedish, and the Gallinipper is the through summer much known and experienced "harkrank" (hey, they have cool names in Swedish too, kinda..)

Now I'm sitting here wondering what "harkrank" might mean in a literal translation!


Joy here

Oh spiders! I think it was the cellar spider that I thought of as daddy long legs. I think the latter name is better!! I also think the idea of daddy long legs is better than the reality of him! LoL Maybe keep him in the kids stories instead of in the basement! (Not that I have ever seen one though.)

Re: Joy here

I've never minded Daddy Longlegs (the Harvetsmen kind), as far as spiders go, though every other kind puts my spider radar up and I have to get them OUT OF THE HOUSE.


Ain't Wikipedia great. :-) Reminded me of this:

xkcd: The Problem with Wikipedia

Also, your spider name research reminded me of the "Dialect Survey" that I saw several years ago. After much Googling, I found it again. :-) It asks questions like, "What do you call the insect that flies around in the summer and has a rear section that glows in the dark?" and then maps all the answers people give, according to where they're from in the USA. The original survey results are here:

I see now that they have a new survey, although I haven't gone through it yet, and apparently you can't see the results until you've taken it:



Well, I filled out all 31 questions of the "new" survey and finally got to the results, but there seems to be a problem with the maps and they're not displaying anything. :-( The old survey results still work fine though, and are quite interesting (and don't require you to register).

Wikipedia actually reminds me of years ago, when I'd be on the phone long distance with my brother and the definition of a word would come to question and I'd grab the dictionary and then spend the rest of the (long) phone call reading it to him, as we bounced from word to word. *love*

I love word/dialect surveys! I remember that one and I'm going to go take the new one right now!

I know one guy whose little kid tried to eat one. He didn't know that when he tried to clean the kid's mouth with water after removing the slug, it would cause A LOT of foaming up. EEWWWW!

I love that you give us new weird words to ponder, Liz. Your family does have the Balderdash game, don't you?

Yes, we do! We play that whenever we have a game night, it's a fave!

I read today about a brand new pain killer whose active ingredients have been extracted from the poison of some Australian water slugs, or similar. The product has not yet been released, but first tests are very hopeful, saying it might be as effective as morphine but hopefully not addictive. Then again, it probably is too soon to determine whether a new drug is safe or not, addictive or not after a first round of animal tests.

From Willow

Ha! Your writing cracks me up. Have you ever seen a banana slug? Do they have those outside the redwoods of California? They are sometimes 4 or 5 inches long....

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lizardek's obiter photos
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