Ridesredmule wrote:You all need to do like Rucky did, he came to my house and He took one home with him. i gave him a Hibiscus and it is still on the table, but not that frog. It went home to Texas. I'm making more in case you make me a visit...
One common yet erroneous explanation for this word's origin is that it comes from flutterby. What we do know, instead, is that this word is very old (pre-8th century). It was originally buturfliog, a compound of butere "butter" and fleoge "fly". Why butter? Some suggest that it was due to many butterflies being yellow in color, like butter. Others believe it is based upon the yellow excrement of butterflies. Still others hold to the notion that butterflies were thought to land in kitchens and drink milk or butter left uncovered (this, interestingly, is supported by a German word for butterfly, milchdieb "milk-thief").
From the net.
As author and etymologist David Feldman once asked, who put the butter in butterfly? The English common name did originate from the relatively simple combination of butter and fly, there's a written old English citation for buttorfleoge, but the literal origin is lost. Some sources have erroneously suggested that the excrement of butterflies is thought to resemble butter. The problem with this, of course, is that other than to void excess water, butterflies do not excrete! Caterpillars do because they are the active growing stage, although a simple consideration of what they eat will make you wonder why anyone would consider that it, commonly called frass, resembled butter! Intriguingly, the larvae of the Jamaican Mexican Fritillary, Euptoieta hegesia hegesia (Nymphalidae), when fed exclusively on the yellow flowers of their preferred host plant, Turnera ulmifolia (Turneraceae), do excrete yellow frass! When a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis it voids its last larval meal and the waste byproducts of metamorphosis in meconium, a fluid that is most often blood colored (which would lead one to bloodfly, not butterfly).
More likely origins include considering the that males of the common brimstone butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni, Pieridae) of England are butter-colored, or that, as author Samuel Jackson suggested, butterflies and the churning of butter are the simultaneous harbingers of spring, or that the word derives from the old myth that witches and fairies stole butter in the night, in the form of butterflies. The first of these is probably the most likely explanation (I'm a firm believer in simple explanations) but there is some etymological evidence for the last. Regardless, the word at least in English is unique (see So, What's in a Name (below) for more information) although I find that it has posed some interesting problems. Think about this: its common to call birdwatchers birders but what would one call a butterflywatcher? A butterflier? I don't think so. It sounds too much like a food fight to me. And I can't say I'm particularly enamored of the alternatives, lepper or bugger, either!
Have you ever wondered what they call butterflies in languages other than English? I thought that I knew quite a few of them until I found this list!