roly-poly [bug]

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minhduc

Senior Member
vietnamese
Hi all, when I looked up in the dictionaries, I found that roly-poly mean a kind of cake or something like that. But in this case I see it's not appropriate with the context much. Does cake need frying?



"Nora told me you used to try to get her to eat roly-polies.”
Before Scott could defend himself, I said, “He used to fry them alive under a magnifying glass, and he didn’t try to get me to eat them. He sat on top of me and pinched my nose until I ran out of air and had to open my mouth. Then he flicked them inside.”

Thanks
 
  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armadillidiidae.

    << Relevant content added by moderator:
    Armadillidiidae is a family of woodlice, [....] Unlike members of other woodlouse families, members of this family can roll into a ball, [....] It is this ability which gives woodlice in this family their common name of pill bugs or roly polies.
    Note: Post itself should include relevant content, with link as supplement only. See Posting links in English Only guidelines. >>

     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "Roly Poly" refers to many things, including a song by famed country and western artist Hank Williams.

    I suspect that your reference is something about fish or fish heads, however.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Tazzler's post may well be deleted, as it's a naked link...

    So I'll just repeat the link here: for some people. at least, a roly-poly is a type of woodlouse: click.

    (I'm not familar with that meaning, myself, but it's clearly the right one:cool::).)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I don't think people called them roly polies when I was growing up in California. Some people called them sow bugs, others called them pill bugs.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Hi all, when I looked up in the dictionaries, I found that roly-poly mean a kind of cake or something like that. But in this case I see it's not appropriate with the context much. Does cake need frying?

    "Nora told me you used to try to get her to eat roly-polies.”
    Before Scott could defend himself, I said, “He used to fry them alive under a magnifying glass, and he didn’t try to get me to eat them. He sat on top of me and pinched my nose until I ran out of air and had to open my mouth. Then he flicked them inside.”

    You have come upon a difference between UK and US English.

    In the UK, a roly-poly is a pudding made of fruit rolled up in dough and baked in the oven.

    In the US, "roly-poly" is a colloquial word used in some parts of the western section of the country to mean a small garden creature generally known as a pill bug (although it's not a bug or insect but a crustacean), which exhibits the interesting trait of rolling itself into a perfectly round little ball (like some pills used in medicine) when it's disturbed.

    Apparently, in the story you were reading, the characters were relating tales of their childhood, when Scott would annoy Nora with the nasty trick of tossing pill bugs into her mouth.

    Ugh! :eek:
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    We call them woodlice in NZ, (some people might call them slaters too).

    Interestingly, as I've been doing this post, I've realised that for my whole life, I have used "woodlice" as the singular and plural, without even thinking about it. Whereas I should of course refer to a woodlice and several woodlice. I guess I never corrected my first language learning from when I was a child, possibly because my parents always refered to groups of woodlice, and never to a single insect.
     
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