popular name of insects with hind legs suited to jumping, mid-14c. (late 13c. as a surname), earlier greshoppe (c. 1200), from Old English gærshoppa; see grass + hopper (n.1). Similar formation in Middle Swedish gräshoppare, German Grashüpfer. As a term of reproach, from Ecclesiastes xii.5. Also recorded c. 1300 as a name for the hare.
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