One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large predatory leech of freshwater and terrestrial habitats which feeds on carrion and small invertebrates.
Genus Haemopis, family Hirudidae
- ‘These men were looked upon as ‘ravening wolves, horseleeches and shearers,’ from whom no man was safe.’
- ‘Ribbon leeches, which have firm bodies and minimal suction, make excellent bait, but a walleye will turn up its nose at a horseleech or medicine leech, which have soft, squishy bodies and strong suction.’
- ‘Pistol once again brings attention to the seamy side of war, in his declaration that in France they will be like horseleeches, sucking blood.’
- ‘As the horseleech is never satisfied, often continuing to gorge itself until it bursts, so self-love is never contented, crying ‘Give, give.’’
- ‘Pistol sums up their intentions perfectly when he boasts, ‘Let us to France, like horseleeches, my boys, / To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!’’
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