beetle (n.2) Look up beetle at
beating tool, Old English bietel, from Proto-Germanic *bautilo-z, from *bautan "to beat" (see beat (v.)).
beetle (n.1) Look up beetle at
type of insect, Old English bitela "beetle," literally "little biter," from bitel "biting," from Proto-Germanic *bitan, from PIE root *bheid- "to split," with derivatives in Germanic referring to biting (see fissure). As a nickname for the original Volkswagen car, 1946, translating German Käfer.
beetle (v.) Look up beetle at
"project, overhang," c. 1600, back-formation from bitelbrouwed "grim-browed, sullen" (mid-14c.), from bitel "sharp-edged, sharp" (c. 1200), probably a compound from Old English *bitol "biting, sharp," related to bite (q.v.), + brow, which in Middle English meant "eyebrow," not "forehead." Meaning "to overhang dangerously" (of cliffs, etc.) is from c. 1600. Related: Beetled; beetling.