slowworm

slowworm

[sloh-wurm]
noun
blindworm ( def 2 ).

Origin:
before 900; slow + worm; replacing Middle English slowerm, slowurme, Old English slāwerm, slāwyrm, equivalent to slā- (compare dialectal Swedish slo, Norwegian slō slowworm) + wyrm worm

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Collins
World English Dictionary
slowworm (ˈsləʊˌwɜːm)
 
n
Also called: blindworm a Eurasian legless lizard, Anguis fragilis, with a brownish-grey snakelike body: family Anguidae

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

slowworm

a legless lizard of the family Anguidae. It lives in grassy areas and open woodlands from Great Britain and Europe eastward to the Urals and Caspian Sea. Adults reach 40 to 45 cm (16 to 18 inches) in body length, but the tail can be up to two times the length from snout to vent. External limbs and girdles are absent, and only a remnant of the pelvic girdle persists internally. Its elongated body form, combined with an absence of limbs, gives the slowworm its snakelike appearance. Unlike snakes, however, slowworms have ear openings and eyelids.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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