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attercop

/ˈætəkɒp/
noun (archaic or dialect)
1.
a spider
2.
an ill-natured person
Word Origin
Old English attorcoppa, from ātor poison and possibly cop head
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for attercop
n.

"spider," Old English attorcoppe, literally "poison-head," from ator "poison, venom," from Proto-Germanic *aitra- "poisonous ulcer" (cf. Old Norse eitr, Old High German eitar "poison;" German eiter "pus," Old High German eiz "abscess, boil;" Old English atorcræft "art of poisoning") + copp "top, summit, round head," probably also "spider" (cf. cobweb and Dutch spinne-cop "spider").

Amptes & attircoppes & suche oþer þat ben euere bisy ben maide to schewe man ensaumple of stodye & labour. [Elucidarium of Honorius of Autun (Wycliffite version) c.1400]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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