wiggle (v.)Related entries & more
early 13c., perhaps from Middle Dutch, Middle Low German, or Middle Flemish wigelen, frequentative of wiegen "to rock, wag, move back and forth," from wiege "cradle," from Proto-Germanic *wig- (source also of Old High German wiga, German Wiege "cradle," Old Frisian widze), from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move, transport in a vehicle." Related: Wiggled; wiggling. The noun is attested from 1816.
polliwog (n.)Related entries & more
earwig (n.)Related entries & more
type of insect (Forficula auricularia), Old English earwicga "earwig," from eare (see ear (n.1)) + wicga "beetle, worm, insect," probably from the same Germanic source as wiggle, on the notion of "quick movement," and ultimately from PIE root *wegh- "to go, move." So called from the ancient and widespread (but false) belief that the garden pest went into people's ears. Compare French perce-oreille, German ohr-wurm. A Northern England name for it reported from 1650s is twitch-ballock.