Photo By Renee "Mrs. Dash"CC BY 2.0

Where Does The Name Dragonfly Come From?

We've already talked about the largest insect to ever walk the planet, that looked just like a dragonfly, but where does the name dragonfly come from? They don't exactly look like dragons! Well, the name has some very odd beginnings. There are two different stories to how it got its name; one from Romanian Folklore, and one from the Native American Folklore.

Image By  Friedrich-Johann-Justin-Bertuch  / {{PD-1923}}

Image By Friedrich-Johann-Justin-Bertuch / {{PD-1923}}

The Romanian story starts with St. George being assigned the task of killing a dragon that was attacking the town of Silence. Instead of killing the dragon he only injured it, then put it on a leash and gave it to the towns princess. Apparently the devil was the one who sent the dragon to the town, and because St. George was the one who defeated the dragon the devil cursed his horse, which turned it into a giant flying insect. In the Romanian language the term Devil's Fly is Drac Fly. Over time this slowly turned into the name dragonfly that we have today.

The Native American story came from the Zuni tribe. To them, dragon flies were a sign of spring and a good harvest. In their story, the Zuni left their land because it became barren, and was unusable. Because they were so eager to leave, they left in such a hurry that they left two children, a brother and sister. The brother made a doll out of some old corn husks and grass. As they remained on this barren land, they began to starve so the corn and grass doll came to life and flew around trying to find corn maidens. When the corn maidens arrived, so did the fertility of the land, and the Zuni tribe as well. After this, the corn and grass doll asked for a companion. From then on, their offspring were called dragonflies, and are the dragonflies me and you see today.

While researching for this blog, I will admit this is not what i expected to find. I expected a bit simpler of an answer, but this turned out a lot more interesting! Let us know in the comments below which one you believe, or if you have your own story.

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