saltatorial orthopterous insect, early 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French criquet "a cricket" (12c.), from criquer "to creak, rattle, crackle," of echoic origin, with a diminutive suffix; Middle English Compendium says the French word is from Germanic (compare Dutch krekel, German Kreckel). The earliest uses in English are in reference to the fabulous fire-dwelling salamander (perhaps from the notion of hearth crickets); in reference to the insect, by c. 1500.