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EtymologyEdit

From Middle English magot, magotte, probably Anglo-Norman alteration of maddock (worm", "maggot), originally a diminutive form of a base represented by Old English maþa (Scots mathe), from common Proto-Germanic *maþô, from the Proto-Indo-European root *mat, which was used in insect names, equivalent to made +‎ -ock. Near-cognates include Dutch made, German Made and Swedish mask.

The use of maggot to mean a fanciful or whimsical thing derives from the folk belief that a whimsical or crotchety person had maggots in his or her brain.

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: măg'ət, IPA(key): /ˈmæɡət/
  • (file)

NounEdit

maggot (plural maggots)

  1. A soft, legless larva of a fly or other dipterous insect, that often eats decomposing organic matter.
  2. (derogatory) A worthless person.
    Drop and give me fifty, maggot.
  3. (obsolete) A whimsy or fancy.
    Mr. Beveridge's Maggot, an old country dance [1].
    • 1620, John Fletcher, Women Pleased, III.iv.
      Are you not mad, my friend? What time o' th' moon is't? / Have not you maggots in your brain?
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard
      [] If you draw, Sir, there's one prospect up the river, by the mills—upon my conscience—but you don't draw?'
      No answer.
      'A little, Sir, maybe? Just for a maggot, I'll wager—like my good lady, Mrs. Toole.'
  4. (slang) A fan of the American metal band Slipknot.

SynonymsEdit

  • (soft legless larva): grub

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.