Definition of doodlebug in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈduːd(ə)lbʌɡ/


1British informal term for V-1.
Example sentences
  • Londoners under attack would come to know it as the doodlebug or buzz bomb, so called for the mechanical hum it made before dropping on its target.
  • In 1943, I joined the Royal Marines at the Commando Training Unit, Lympstone, Devon, so I missed the doodlebugs and most of the V2 rockets.
  • In many ways the crowd at a football match is like a World War Two doodlebug - it's when it stops making a noise that those on the ground should panic.
2North American The larva of an ant lion.
Example sentences
  • I was so fascinated by ants, wasps, and doodlebugs that I would have squatted in the road all day too, but unfortunately I did not inherit the slow gene.
  • One guy ate doodlebugs and another packed mud in his pants.
3US An unscientific device for locating oil or minerals; a divining rod.
3.1A prospector for oil or minerals.
4A small car or other vehicle.
Example sentences
  • The ‘Rainier Skunk’, which had operated from Portland to Rainier since 1915 with a GE doodlebug, was replaced by a bus in 1924.


Mid 19th century (in sense 2): from 17th-century doodle 'ninny' + bug.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: doodle|bug

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