One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1North American A cockroach.
- ‘He was certain there were roaches scurrying about.’
- ‘For your gaming pleasure, a whole new assortment of mutant insects have been created including killer roaches, acid-shooting houseflies and fire ants.’
- ‘I see a roach making its way toward the closet door.’
- ‘She told me that he refused to kill roaches and that she had seen them walking in and out of his sugar bowl.’
- ‘Pizza boxes would be kicked to knock out the roaches and the mice droppings before being used for a delivery.’
- ‘When I was a graduate student, the room we were staying in had roaches.’
- ‘Sofia tells them about the horrid and rancid conditions in which she lives, with fleas, vermin, roaches, and about her job cleaning the dirty sheets.’
- ‘Wouldn't you at least make the slightest noise when there's a roach climbing up your leg?’
- ‘At the back of the drainboard, smack in the middle of the dishcloth, a small brown roach waved his antennae sluggishly-sick, no doubt, confusing his nights and days.’
- ‘And they've also found two new mutations that make the roaches more resistant to pyrethroid and related insecticides.’
- ‘But once we started asking questions, none of those women would say that they had ever had pests, rodents, or roaches in their homes.’
- ‘All we could see was a small roach crawling up the wall.’
- ‘A roach crawled out from under the bed, making her scream.’
2The butt of a marijuana cigarette.
- ‘I went from car to car in the lot, going up to people's windows when they pulled in, even people I didn't know, but nobody even had a roach.’
Early 19th century: shortening of cockroach; roach (sense 2) dates from the 1930s and may represent a different word.
An edible Eurasian freshwater fish of the minnow family, popular with anglers. It can hybridize with related fishes, notably rudd and bream.
Rutilus rutilus, family Cyprinidae
- ‘I loved to fish there and caught roach and perch as well as the odd boot.’
- ‘A shoal of small roach will appear as a black cloud suspended in mid water.’
- ‘Both had a single bream plus plenty of small roach on feeder tactics.’
- ‘I caught another two nice roach before catching a few bream up to over five pounds.’
- ‘I had had about 10 good quality roach when I struck into a real fly away bite.’
Middle English: from Old French roche, of unknown ultimate origin.
A curve, in or out, in the edge of a sail, especially in the leech of a fore-and-aft sail.
Late 18th century: of unknown origin.
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