Where does the term “devil’s darning needle” come from and What does devil’s-darning-needle mean?

Devil’s-darning-needle is the common name in the United States of the dragonfly (which see).

We abridge it sometimes to darning-needle, and, a hundred years ago, Thoreau and others spoke of the insect as devil’s-needle.

The name is fairly obvious: large staring eyes which remind one of Satan himself, and an extremely slender and long body, not unlike a needle.

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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