Never seen/read the spelling you used, but peenie wallie is related to the word peelie wallie from the Scottish dialect. In the Scottish dialect, it refers to a person who's pale/ill-looking. The fireflies give off a pale-whitish/ yellowish light and some make a sound when they flap thier wings or when they fly about, making a thud-like sound upon bumping into stuff. It started out in the early nineteenth century as the single word peelie for a person who is thin, gaunt or pale. As cited from the dictionary, "Dictionaries usually suggest it as an imitation of a slight, high-pitched sound, perhaps a noise that someone in distress might make. If so, it’s linked to another imitative Scots word, peek, for the feeble cry of a small bird, animal and insect noise or whimper of complaint, or an insignificant person with a piping voice", (Quintion 1999). Scottish-Jamaicans started using the term and it became widespread. It's not just Patois slang, but is also Standard Jamaican English.Hey everyone,
I was just curious as to what the word for the insect, known as the "firefly" in English, is in other languages.
In Jamaican Creole it's "Piiniwaali"
It's both. The female is unable to fly, she actually has no wings, and it's like a chubby insect with a long segmented abdomen similar to a worm, she lives underground and she produces the light from the abdomen to lure the males to her den. While the male specimen are littler than the female, and they fly, to move fast towards the female's light, also the male specimen produce light from the abdomen.But all in all it turns out to be a flying worm, so it seems, or at least a flying insect... Or what do you think?