Why Are Butterflies Also Called "Butter Poops"?

There are plenty of words and phrases you use every day that, if you stop and think about them, don't make much sense on the surface. The word for the beautiful winged insect is a great example: butterfly. It is believed that the word butterfly came from the old English word, butterfleoge, which means "butter" and "fly." The Dutch term "boterschijte" literally translates to "butter poop," and is thought by some to have become the name for the insect because the excrement of a butterfly is the color of butter.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The phrase "breaking the ice" in reference to conversation does not originate from the 18th-century steam-powered ships called icebreakers. 01:21

  2. The theory holds that butterflies got their name because their poop is a color similar to butter. 01:52

Written by Curiosity Staff April 22, 2016

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