What are some things with interesting names? Piggy Banks? Polka dots? Teddy bears? – How about “butterfly”!?
Because the word “butterfly” has been around for a very long time, no on is sure of its exact origin. Some people say that the butterfly got its name because it was originally called a “flutter-by” (since these cool bugs can flutter right by you) and that eventually, the name got switched around to become “butterfly,” instead!
Believe it or not, another commonly cited idea is that butterflies were once believed to be witches in disguise! These witches were thought to steal milk and butter at night, thus giving our friendly butterflies a reputation that gave them this name! Another theory says the name comes from the butter-like color of many butterflies’ wings!
In most other languages, butterflies are not known by a name that has anything to do with butter, which is why it’s all the more silly and funny that they have this very strange name in English!