pray » prey

Chiefly in:   preying mantis

Classification: English – proper names

Spotted in the wild:

  • When I asked for prompts a while back, [info]marenfic suggested Blayne/Xander (the other virgin student in the cages with Xander at the mercy of the Preying Mantis lady from from “Teacher’s Pet”, s1). (Livejournal, January 29, 2006)
  • I was waiting for my brother to finish his fencing practice on 15 August 1998 so we could start out for Mackey to hike up Mt. Borah when this preying mantis flew up and landed near me. I had never seen one before and decided to take a picture of it. It was somewhat surprised that it stood so still without flying away, but I was told later that this is typical behavior for preying mantii. (link)
  • Preying mantises (there are several species in North America) are obviously very specialized for predatory existence. (link)
  • Kept a preying mantis once. Its my ultimate fav insect. Why? Hmmm, for one thing, I feel its the epitome of patient deadly grace that kills with a sudden strike. (blog entry, January 24, 2006)
  • The class originally consisted of four frigates, but one of these frigates, the Sahand, was sunk by American forces during Operation Preying Mantis in 1988. (Strategy Page, January 25, 2006)
  • Tobey added, nature’s “good” bugs such as preying mantis and lady bugs will not die from eating pests killed by spinosad. (The Huron Daily Tribune, Feb 5, 2006)

For a significant number of people, the insect’s name evokes predatory behavior rather than a religious posture. Raw Google counts: 60,200 for the eggcorn (certainly including a number of occurrences of intentional wordplay) vs. 840,000 for the original.

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2006/02/13 |

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