September 20, 2006

What's In A Name?

The UK Telegraph, apparently suffering a slow news day, runs an article about a spike in the population of "daddy long legs" in Britain caused be recent weather conditions. The article is accompanied by this photo:


Now I've always called this particular flying insect a "skeeter-hawk," a term I believe I picked up in Texas. To me, this is a daddy long-legs:


I realize this is possibly the single most useless post I've ever written (and there's been some mighty intense competition for that title), but I throw out these observations nonetheless. Make of them what you will.

Posted by Robert at September 20, 2006 11:03 AM | TrackBack

Yep, them there are skeeter-eaters out here in Kalifornica. And the arachnid-thingy is a daddy-long-leg. The Brits are goofy.

Posted by: richj at September 20, 2006 11:18 AM

I think I've probably always called the top ones dragonflies (being clearly unable to distinguish them from true dragonflies) - but the lower is most definitely a daddy long-legs.

Posted by: beth at September 20, 2006 11:33 AM

Agreed. I've heard both skeeter-eater AND Mosquito Hawk here in Oregon. The other is what I've called a daddy long legs my whole life. However, according to the online Columbia Encyclopedia, the crane fly is also called a daddy long legs. And guess what?

Posted by: Brian B at September 20, 2006 11:44 AM

Robert, I'd go along with your terms for both creatures, but the Brits would call that vermin in the lower photo a "harvestman." Of course, as Mencken once said:

When eighty percent of a language's speakers call a specific type of vehicle a "truck" and twenty percent call it a "lorry," then the first group is speaking the standard language while the second is speaking a dialect.
It would take me a while to dig up that quote, but it's stayed with me for years.

Posted by: utron at September 20, 2006 01:11 PM

I promised myself I wouldn't do this. Yet that post was so pointless that I have been forced to do something to help it find redemption--y'all can thank me later.

Posted by: Jackson Danov at September 20, 2006 10:05 PM