cockroach

cockroach

[kok-rohch]
noun
any of numerous orthopterous insects of the family Blattidae, characterized by a flattened body, rapid movements, and nocturnal habits and including several common household pests.
Also called roach.


Origin:
1615–25; < Spanish cucaracha, of uncertain origin, assimilated by folk etymology to cock1, roach2

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World English Dictionary
cockroach (ˈkɒkˌrəʊtʃ)
 
n
German cockroach See also mantis any insect of the suborder Blattodea (or Blattaria), such as Blatta orientalis (oriental cockroach or black beetle): order Dictyoptera.They have an oval flattened body with long antennae and biting mouthparts and are common household pests
 
[C17: from Spanish cucaracha, of obscure origin]

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Word Origin & History

cockroach
1624, folk etymology of Sp. cucaracha "chafer, beetle," from cuca "kind of caterpillar." Folk etymology is from caca "excrement."
"A certaine India Bug, called by the Spaniards a Cacarootch, the which creeping into Chests they eat and defile with their ill-sented dung" [Capt. John Smith, "Virginia," 1624].
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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