Guide The Ladybug Story

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But why are they called that? The bug part of the word ladybug is transparent enough: ladybugs are beetles, which, with weevils, make up the largest order of insects, Coleoptera. The lady part, however, is not so transparent. It has its origin in an allusion to a very particular and much-revered lady: the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

Minuscule - The ladybug

There are approximately 5, varieties of the "small and nearly hemispherical and often brightly colored often spotted beetles" as this dictionary—in part—puts it that are referred to by the word ladybug. They're all members of the family Coccinellidae, and the color of their wing covers and the number of their spots vary according to species.

The Oxford English Dictionary reports that it was the seven-spotted Coccinella septempunctata native to and common in Europe that first acquired a name that linked it to the Virgin Mary; its seven spots were thought to symbolize the seven sorrows she suffered. These include various episodes recounted in the Gospels , from Simeon's early prophecy of the trials Jesus would endure to the witnessing of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus. The ladybug was an earthly reminder of a key figure in the Christian story, encountered in the green fields and gardens where one might toil daily.

The beetles go by other names too. In American English they're also referred to with the following terms: lady beetle , ladybird , and ladybird beetle.

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

In British English ladybird is the preferred name, but historically lady cow and cow lady were used as well. Most of these date to the 17th century, with lady cow 's apparent vintage of the late 16th century making it the oldest by several decades. While the OED points out that cows feature in ladybug names from other languages of the time, as well as in an old Middle English term Godyscow "God's cow" , which may too have referred to a ladybug, the connection between cows and ladybugs is no longer one easily seen. Just in case all this talk of ladybugs has you recalling an old children's rhyme, we'll address that here too.

After the fields of hops had been cleared, the hop vines would be burned, and, sadly, many ladybugs with them. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! Some imitative words are more surprising than others.

How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. The awkward case of 'his or her'. Test your knowledge of words related to the season of longer days and vacations. Test your vocabulary with our question quiz! What do you think will happen to the grouchy ladybug after the day?

What Do You Think?

Ashley Didaagun What happened when the two ladybugs landed on the same lesf why. What is the story about? What happened when the two ladybugs landed on the same leaf? Why did the grouchy ladybug fly away?

The Grouchy Ladybug

If you were the grouchy ladybug, what would have you done? Why did the ladybug want to fight? What did the grouchy ladybug do that day? What did the ladybug say to the animals?


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  • How can you describe the ladybug? Genevie Tin what happen when the two ladybyg landed on the same leaft? As an adult, I picked up this message: Don't pick a fight with someone bigger and stronger than you, because they probably won't back down. Did anyone else pick up that message? I really hated this book. Adults might find it funny, but I don't find it appropriate for children.

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    A 'Ladybug's' Spots

    Unanswered Questions 3. Answer of the queation the grouchy ladybug? Ask and answer questions about books! Welcome back.