Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
Old English spiþra, from Proto-Germanic *spenthro (cf. Danish spinder), from *spenwanan "to spin" (see spin). The connection with the root is more transparent in other Germanic cognates (cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Middle High German, German spinne, Dutch spin "spider").
In literature, often a figure of cunning, skill, and industry as well as poisonous predation. As the name for a type of two-pack solitaire, it is attested from 1890. Another Old English word for the creature was gangewifre "a weaver as he goes," and Middle English also had araine "spider" (14c.-15c., from French). Spider plant is from 1852; spider crab is from 1710; spider monkey is from 1764, so called for its long limbs.
spider spi·der (spī'dər)
Any of numerous arachnids of the order Araneae, having a body divided into a cephalothorax bearing eight legs, two poison fangs, and two feelers and an unsegmented abdomen bearing several spinnerets that produce the silk used to make nests, cocoons, or webs for trapping insects.
An arterial spider.
The trust of the hypocrite is compared to the spider's web or house (Job 8:14). It is said of the wicked by Isaiah that they "weave the spider's web" (59:5), i.e., their works and designs are, like the spider's web, vain and useless. The Hebrew word here used is _'akkabish_, "a swift weaver." In Prov. 30:28 a different Hebrew word (semamith) is used. It is rendered in the Vulgate by stellio, and in the Revised Version by "lizard." It may, however, represent the spider, of which there are, it is said, about seven hundred species in Palestine.