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Old English wifel "small beetle," from Proto-Germanic *webilaz (cf. Old Saxon wibil, Old High German wibil, German Wiebel "beetle, chafer," Old Norse tordyfill "dung beetle"), cognate with Lithuanian vabalas "beetle," from PIE root *webh- "to weave," also "to move quickly" (see weave (v.)). The sense gradually narrowed to a particular kind of beetle that, in larval or adult stages, bores into plants, often destroying them.