One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bottle for collecting small insects and other invertebrates, having one tube through which they are sucked into the bottle and another, protected by muslin or gauze, which is sucked.
- ‘They were each given a pooter, a plastic device which they could use to suck unsuspecting insects into a tube so they could be examined closely.’
1930s: said to be from the name of William Poos (1891–1987), American entomologist.
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