About Me

Friday, October 30, 2015

Darning Needle...Huh?

I was stopped for a light while driving home from a town run and caught sight of a dragonfly zooming through my file of vision. When growing up, I always heard them called 'darning needles.' This turned on my curiosity switch so I've been checking out the origins for both names.

One piece of folklore that does seem to ring true is the "Devil's Darning Needle", a name used to frighten 
small children with the threat of having their mouths sewn shut if they misbehaved.

A species of insects that have inhabited our planet for almost 300 million years, dragonflies and their family 

belongs to the Odonata family. Odonata comes from the Greek word for tooth as Odonates were believed 

to have teeth. While dragonflies don’t have ‘teeth,’ they have strong mandibles that they use to crush their 


The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life 

and usually not more than a few months. The dragonfly can move at an amazing 45 miles an hour; hover like

 a helicopter fly backwards like a hummingbird, fly straight up, down and on either side.The dragonfly’s 

scurrying flight across water is thought to represent going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the 

deeper implications and aspects of life.

As a predator, they eat many insects that might plague your home and yard, including mosquitoes, houseflies,ants and bees. including  In China, people associate the dragonfly with prosperity, harmony and as a good luck charm.

However, the origin of their name is a bit of mystery.  In a book written by Eden Emanuel Sarot in 1958 
entitled Folklore of the Dragonfly: A Linguistic Approach he theorized that the name dragonfly actually 

came about because of an ancient Romanian Folktale.According to Sarot, the peasantry of that time actually 

viewed the Devil’s Horse as a giant fly and that they may have started referring to it as the ‘Devil’s Fly’ 

(instead of Devil’s Horse). He stated that the Romanian word for Devil was "drac," but that drac was also 

the Romanian word for dragon.

My thanks to http://www.dragonfly-site.com/meaning-symbolize.html#sthash.im6T940z.dpuf for supplying 

much of this information. Now you know more about dragonflies than you ever wanted to know, right?

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