LOUSE

LOUSE
LOUSE (Heb. כִּנָּם ,כִּנִּים in plural. Talmud כִּנָּה, singular), insect; one of the ten plagues with which Egypt was smitten (Ex. 8:13–14; Ps. 105:31) was the plague of lice. The כֵּן in Isaiah (51.6): "They that dwell therein shall die kemokhen" may refer to the   louse; i.e., "like a louse." The louse caused much suffering to people of all classes in former times. A distinction was made between the dark-colored head louse and the light-colored clothes louse (Pes. 112b), two strains of the Pediculus hominis, against which people sought to protect themselves by constantly changing and washing their clothes – although they were also compelled to search their garments to kill the lice (Tosef., Shab. 16:21, where the louse is called ma'akholet, i.e., the eater). Lice nits were regarded as the smallest of creatures, and hence the statement that "the Holy One blessed be He feeds the whole world, from the horned buffalo to the lice nits" (Av. Zar. 3b). Some maintained that "the louse does not multiply and increase" (Shab. 107b) but generates spontaneously. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lewysohn, Zool, 324–6; J. Feliks, The Animal World of the Bible (1962), 131. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Louse — (lous), n.; pl. {Lice} (l[imac]s). [OE. lous, AS. l[=u]s, pl. l[=y]s; akin to D. luis, G. laus, OHG. l[=u]s, Icel. l[=u]s, Sw. lus, Dan. luus; perh. so named because it is destructive, and akin to E. lose, loose.] (Zo[ o]l.) 1. Any one of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • louse — [lous; ] for v., also [ louz] n. pl. lice and, for LOUSE 4, louses [ME lous < OE lus (pl. lys), akin to Ger laus < IE * lūs > Welsh lleuen, Bret laouen] 1. a) any of an order (Anoplura) of small, flat, wingless insects with sucking… …   English World dictionary

  • louse — (n.) parasitic insect infecting human hair and skin, O.E. lus, from P.Gmc. *lus (Cf. O.N. lus, M.Du. luus, Du. luis, O.H.G. lus, Ger. Laus), from PIE *lus louse (Cf. Welsh lleuen louse ). Slang meaning obnoxious person is from 1630s. The plural …   Etymology dictionary

  • Louse — (louz), v. t. To clean from lice. You sat and loused him. Swift. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • louse — ► NOUN 1) (pl. lice) a small wingless parasitic insect which infests human skin and hair. 2) (pl. lice) a related insect which lives on the skin of mammals or birds. 3) (pl. louses) informal a contemptible person. ► VERB (louse u …   English terms dictionary

  • louse — n. /lows/; v. /lows, lowz/, n., pl. lice /luys/ for 1 3, louses for 4, v., loused, lousing. n. 1. any small, wingless insect of the order Anoplura (sucking louse), parasitic on humans and other mammals and having mouthparts adapted for sucking,… …   Universalium

  • Louse — Lice redirects here. For the infection, see Pediculosis. For the district of Diyarbakır Province in Turkey, see Lice, Turkey. For other uses, see Louse (disambiguation). Phthiraptera …   Wikipedia

  • louse — de·louse; ja·louse; jea·louse; louse·berry; louse; pa·louse; tou·louse; …   English syllables

  • louse — I UK [laʊs] / US noun [countable] Word forms louse : singular louse plural lice 1) Word forms louse : plural lice a small insect that lives on the bodies of animals and people 2) informal an unpleasant person II UK [laʊs] / US verb Word forms… …   English dictionary

  • louse — noun 1》 (plural lice) a small wingless parasitic insect which infests human skin and hair. [Pediculus humanus (see body louse, head louse).]     ↘a related insect which lives on the skin of mammals or birds. [Orders Anoplura (sucking lice) and… …   English new terms dictionary

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