One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An earthworm, in particular one that is used as fishing bait.
- ‘The declared number of dew worms exported to the United States was about 500 million in 1978.’
- ‘A popular angling bait, this species has a variety of common names including lob and dew worm, and night crawler.’
- ‘In addition, fertilizers and even some plastics can be toxic to dew worms and African night crawlers.’
- ‘The fishermen use dew worms which are collected during the night after the rain by the light of a hand-lamp.’
- ‘It would be a shame to get rid of the dew worms because their activity aerates the soil and their castings are valuable fertilizer.’
Old English deaw-wyrm ‘ringworm’; compare with East Frisian dauworm, denoting both ringworm and the earthworm.
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