One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person who adheres excessively to official rules and formalities; a red-tapist. Also (chiefly with the): red tape, excessive bureaucracy.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Charles Dickens (1812–1870), novelist. From red tape + worm, punningly after tapeworm.
red tapeworm/rɛd ˈteɪpwəːm/
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