Anything Obscure & Eclectic
Gadfly

Gadfly

BEING A REVEALING AND ILLUMINATING WORD ON THE SEXUAL REPRODUCTION OF BUGS AND ITS CONNECTION TO THE PEOPLE BOTHERING YOU TODAY. OH, REALLY, OFFICE JERRY, WITH THE RED EXCLAIM? ALL YOUR EMAILS ARE URGENT?

n. — popular name of a fly that bites cattle [or livestock], esp. a fly of the genus Tabanus or genus Oestrus
— a person who irritates, torments, or worries another
— an irresistible impulse to some course of action

fm. the English noun gad, sharing its meaning with its original Old Norse and Old High and Middle German forms: a sharp spike or nail

…though that final definition, it should be mentioned, has precious little to do with spikes and nails. That definition comes specifically from those Oestrus flies. Oestrus is a familiar Latin word, meaning sexual receptivity. A mare in oestrus is in heat.

first published. 1591

inspiration. Anu Garg’s outstanding Wordsmith.org. Since it’d be repetitive if not cheating for this Word of the Day to mirror that Word of the Day, I don’t often invoke him. The reason for this rare exception: I just liked the word. I heard something of Gatsby in it.

This entry was published on 5 April 2017 at 9:00 am and is filed under G. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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