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ladybird beetle

[ley-dee-burd] /ˌleɪ diˌbɜrd/
noun
1.
Also called ladybird.
Origin
1730-1740
1730-40, Americanism; lady (uninflected possessive case) Virgin Mary + bird; i.e. (our) Lady's bird

ladybug

[ley-dee-buhg] /ˈleɪ diˌbʌg/
noun
1.
any of numerous small, round, often brightly colored and spotted beetles of the family Coccinellidae, feeding chiefly on aphids and other small insects, but including several forms that feed on plants.
Also called ladybeetle, lady beetle, ladybird beetle, ladybird.
Origin
1690-1700; lady + bug1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ladybird

ladybird

/ˈleɪdɪˌbɜːd/
noun
1.
any of various small brightly coloured beetles of the family Coccinellidae, such as Adalia bipunctata (two-spotted ladybird), which has red elytra marked with black spots Usual US and Canadian name ladybug
Word Origin
C18: named after Our Lady, the Virgin Mary
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ladybird
n.

"sweetheart," 1590s, from lady + bird (n.2).

ladybug

n.

1690s, from lady + bug (n.). The "lady" is the Virgin Mary (cf. German cognate Marienkäfer). In Britain, now usually ladybird beetle (1704), through aversion to the word bug, which there has overtones of sodomy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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