One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A social winged insect which has a narrow waist and a sting and is typically yellow with black stripes. It constructs a paper nest from wood pulp and raises the larvae on a diet of insects.
- ‘Among the Caribs, the girls undergo a similar ritual, except that stinging ants rather than wasps are used.’
- ‘I myself was stung by some wasps and went into mild anaphylactic shock.’
- ‘Most stinging wasps and bees are beneficial and should be preserved unless they pose a direct hazard to humans.’
- ‘When a male wasp crashes into the orchid, it gets covered with orchid pollen.’
- ‘Bites from bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants are typically the most troublesome.’
- ‘I was cleaning up my flowerbeds for fall when a wasp flew up and stung me on the cheek.’
- ‘A nest of wasps gathered in my mother-in-law's garden shed and I bought a spray and killed them all.’
- ‘But this is the time of year that a lot of people usually get stung by wasps or bees.’
- ‘It stung like a million wasps, but suddenly, my hand was back to normal.’
- ‘I closed my eyes and held my breath when the wasp stung me.’
- ‘Common wasps are social insects and live in nests of up to around 10,000 workers.’
- ‘Another hazard that sometimes faced the picker was disturbing a nest of wasps or some other stinging creatures.’
- ‘When a nasty wasp stung two of us, the shaman congratulated us, saying it would help mitigate the future contraction of arthritis.’
- ‘In many eusocial wasps, nests are founded by single females that remain alone until offspring emergence.’
- ‘It didn't kill the wasps, the nest was made of paper so it absorbed the shock and just split open.’
- ‘I could see the anxiety on Zack's face when the wasp buzzed past a second time.’
- ‘Once, he was bitten by a horrendous dog, and was also stung by a wasp.’
- ‘The latest accident is thought to have been triggered when one of the horses was stung by a wasp, causing it to bolt.’
- ‘I wouldn't mind, as I remind my wife, but I've never in my life been stung by a wasp.’
- ‘Swarms of bees and wasps would also have nested in the forest.’
2A solitary winged insect with a narrow waist, mostly distantly related to the social wasps and including many parasitic kinds.
- ‘Parasitoid wasps have proved to be an extremely useful model system for testing ideas in this area.’
- ‘Tussock moth larvae that are not killed by parasitic wasps and predators turn into brightly marked caterpillars.’
- ‘In the case of many parasitoid wasps, other compounds come from the venom the mother injects with her eggs.’
- ‘We believe effective fly control will require the utilization of parasitic wasp species native to Nebraska.’
- ‘The apparent advantage for the eggs is that, buried in the debris, they are less likely to be parasitized by wasps.’
- ‘Since their introduction, the beneficial wasps have helped control plant bug populations throughout the Northeast.’
- ‘Female wasps parasitize fruit flies by inserting their eggs into fruit fly eggs.’
- ‘These volatiles can attract the natural enemies of these herbivores, for example, parasitoid wasps.’
- ‘On TV the eggs hatch and the tiny wasps eat the spider alive.’
- ‘Each spider was supplied with aphids, flies, plant hoppers, and parasitoid wasps.’
- ‘There is also a parasitic wasp that attacks them but they are not effective enough to prevent the damage.’
- ‘In the garden dill attracts beneficial insects, including bees, parasitic wasps and tachinid flies.’
- ‘Certain types of parasitic insects, most commonly flies and wasps, thrive on other insect hosts.’
- ‘Female parasitic wasps lay their eggs on the caterpillars.’
- ‘Parasitic wasps and fungal diseases prevent weevils from causing economic injury in most years.’
- ‘The wasps parasitized these new hosts, killing nineteen of every twenty flies.’
- ‘Nonetheless, it is parasitized by wasps, flies, and nematodes.’
- ‘A few days later the egg hatches and the wasp larva eats the cicada alive.’
- ‘The main causes of egg mortality are predators and a parasitoid wasp.’
Old English wæfs, wæps, wæsp, of West Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin vespa; perhaps related to weave (from the web-like form of its nest).
An upper- or middle-class American white Protestant, considered to be a member of the most powerful group in society.
- ‘Old-guard Wasps appear to feel threatened by the newly rich and their growing influence around the city, and dismiss new money as ‘tasteless and gauche.’’
- ‘But the criticism of WASPs as a group, says Brookhiser, is only a symptom of a deeper ill.’
1960s: acronym from white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
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