Definition of devil's darning needle in US English:

devil's darning needle


North American
  • another term for darner
    • ‘Dragonflies, which are commonly called horse stingers and devil's darning needles, are strong fliers with elongated bodies; they rest with their wings outstretched.’
    • ‘The black bodies striped with green and yellow, the intriguing names; devil's darning needle and snake doctor, conjure visions of skull duggery.’
    • ‘When my grandmother was growing up, dragonflies were known as devil's darning needles and horse stingers, considered an annoyance by some, a danger by others.’
    • ‘As a child she was frightened by an adult's threat that dragonflies, called devil's darning needles, would sew up her mouth if they caught her, and by visions of rose chafers devouring the beauty of the world.’
    • ‘Sometimes called the green darner or devil's darning needle, Aeschnidae nymphs have an hour-glass-shaped body between two and five-cm long.’
    • ‘Yankees in some parts of New England call it a devil's darning needle, while some Southern Coast people go for mosquito hawk, and the Pennsylvania-Dutch merely turn the Old Country name for it into English: snake waiter.’
    • ‘Dragonflies are also known as devil's darning needles because of their supposed ability to stitch together the lips of the wicked.’
    • ‘Clematis virginiana, also known as Virgin's bower & devil's darning needles, is an attractive showy semi-woody climbing vine suitable for landscape planting and is best when grown on a trellis or fence.’
    • ‘Darners probably got their name from the old superstition that they sew up the lips of naughty boys with their long slender abdomens - the devil's darning needles.’
    • ‘Dragonflies, also known in some parts as mosquito hawks, horse stingers and devil's darning needles, dart through the Alaskan air, tiny helicopters in search of mosquitoes and other prey.’
    • ‘The air there was alive with snake doctors, as dragonflies were locally known, though elsewhere they are called mosquito hawks or the devil's darning needles - fast, muscular insects, with huge compound eyes like radomes.’
    • ‘The common names of ‘sewing needles’ and ‘devil's darning needles’ are based on an old fable that these insects could sew up one's ears.’
    • ‘Other names applied to it and to stick insects in general include devil's riding horse, prairie alligator, stick bug, witch's horse, devil's darning needle, scorpion, and musk mare.’
    • ‘Both types are known by popular names such as darning needle, devil's darning needle, snake feeder, snake doctor, and mosquito hawk.’
    • ‘The imagery outside the South alludes more to the insect's shape than to its behavior or diet: Upper Northern speakers call it a darning needle or a devil's darning needle; those in Coastal New Jersey, a spindle; and Northern Californians, an ear sewer.’