bric-a-brac english

Coccinellidae (ladybird, ladybug)

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm

The Coccinellidae are a family of beetles, known variously as ladybirds (UK, Ireland, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Malta) or ladybugs (originating in North America, spread through media to many other parts of the world). When they need to use a common name, entomologists widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs. Lesser-used names include God’s cow, ladyclock, lady cow, and lady fly. Coccinellids are small insects, ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm (0.04 to 0.4 inches), and are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, with black legs, head and antennae. Coccinelid is derived from the Latin word coccineus meaning scarlet. The name ladybird originated in Britain where the insects became known as Our Ladys bird or the Lady beetle. Mary (Our Lady) was often depicted wearing a red cloak in early paintings and the spots of the seven spot ladybird (the most common in Europe) were said to symbolise her seven joys and seven sorrows. [Source: Wikipedia]

In Greek, the ladybird is called paschalitsa (related to Pascha, Easter; you could translate it “Easter bug”).

Here’s a nursery rhyme about our little dotted lady:

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children are gone
All except one, and that’s Little Anne
For she has crept under the warming pan.

A warming pan or bed warmer. On cold winter nights, you’d fill it with hot coals and put it under your bed covers.

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