How did “daddy longlegs” get its name and Where does the name daddy longlegs come from?

A frequent name in America for this insect is granddaddy longlegs, as any reader of Mark Twain knows.

In England it is sometimes called father-long-legs or Harry-long-legs, the latter possibly in allusion to a fancied resemblance to his Satanic majesty, the Lord Harry.

But the paternal or patriarchal name, applied without any regard whatever to the sex of this member of the spider family, is due only to the fact that its slender legs are excessively long, perhaps because some men appear to have legs reaching from the neck down.

The crane fly, a fly with very long slender legs, is also sometimes called daddy longlegs.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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