Words associated with “Creepy Crawlies”

CREEPY crawlies have crept into the English language to enrich our descriptions. Below are some examples:

1. Mite

a. A small child you feel sorry for.

The poor mites begging by the roadside were a pathetic sight.

b. To a small extent or degree.

I cannot help feeling a mite nervous when I go on stage.

2. Bug

a. A tiny hidden microphone which transmits what people say.

A bug was planted in his phone by the police.

b. You can say someone has been bitten by a particular bug when she is very enthusiastic about something.

She is always globe-trotting as she has been bitten by the travel bug.

c. If someone or something bugs you, they worry or annoy you.

My mother is always bugging me about tidying my room.

3. Spidery

If you describe something like handwriting as spidery, you mean it consists of thin, dark, pointed lines.

I recognise her spidery writing easily.

4. Moth-eaten

If you describe a place as moth-eaten, you mean it is unattractive or useless because it is old or worn-out.

Chusan Hotel has become a moth-eaten hotel which is no longer popular.

5. Leech

Someone who is described as a leech deliberately depends on other people, often making money out of them.

Bernie is a leech who likes to swindle rich women.

6. Fly on the wall

If you say you would like to be a fly on the wall in a situation which does not involve you, you mean you would like to see or hear what happens in that situation.

I would like to be a fly on the wall when Nancy finds out she has bought a fake ruby ring from Beijing.

7. Worm

If you say someone is worming his way into someone’s else’s affection, he is making someone trust him often in order to deceive them.

He managed to worm his way into the confidence of his neighbour.

8. A can of worms

If someone opens a can of worms, he is planning to do something which is more complicated or difficult than he realises.

When he started his furniture business he opened a can of worms.

9. Beetle

To go somewhere quickly especially because you do not want to be noticed.

He was beetling down the back lane with a stolen plant.

10. Slug

If you slug someone you hit them hard.

After a heated argument he slugged his friend.

11. Waspish

A waspish remark or sense of humour is sharp and critical.

His waspish remarks can offend many people.


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