I woke this morning to a loud crunching in my bedroom. I opened first one eye and then the other, slowly and warily I must add, because in this house, you really never know what is behind a sound.
It was Bubo, naturally, snacking on a grasshopper. Where she got a grasshopper in Brooklyn I don’t know, but she was happily munching on the poor creature. To be honest, the sound made me hungry for extra crispy bacon, so Silas is cooking a large spread for the humans in the house.
Bubo’s morning snack brings me to today’s word.
A hopperdozer is a device for catching and destroying insects (specifically grasshoppers). It consists of a high-backed sheet of metal with an iron tray attached that is dragged (on sled runners or wheels) through grass and fields containing grasshoppers. The grasshoppers jump up and then hit the high back, then they fall into the tray which is filled with kerosene or a poison that kills them.
An agricultural term, hopperdozer most likely is derived from hopper for grasshopper and doze or dose for dosing the bugs with poison. This etymology is, of course, inexact. A largely obsolete tool, the hopperdozer no longer enjoys infamy in the fields.
It is incredibly fun to say, however. Unless you’re a grasshopper. Then it must be terrifying.