hairy

(redirected from hairy caterpillars)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

hairy

(1)
Annoyingly complicated. "DWIM is incredibly hairy."

hairy

(2)
Incomprehensible. "DWIM is incredibly hairy."

hairy

(3)
Of people, high-powered, authoritative, rare, expert, and/or incomprehensible. Hard to explain except in context: "He knows this hairy lawyer who says there's nothing to worry about." See also hirsute.

The adjective "long-haired" is well-attested to have been in slang use among scientists and engineers during the early 1950s; it was equivalent to modern "hairy" and was very likely ancestral to the hackish use. In fact the noun "long-hair" was at the time used to describe a hairy person. Both senses probably passed out of use when long hair was adopted as a signature trait by the 1960s counterculture, leaving hackish "hairy" as a sort of stunted mutant relic.

hairy

(topology)
References in periodicals archive ?
ants, spiders, ladybird beetles, ground beetles (predators), sow bugs, cockroaches (scavengers), hairy caterpillars and field crickets (phytophagous).
For neat little clumps plant Carex Evergold, an evergreen with brightly variegated leaves, while fountain grass (Pennisetum) makes a wonderful display with purplish flower heads that resemble hairy caterpillars.
The hairy caterpillars of this species, popularly called 'Woolly Bears', used to be a common feature 30 or 40 years ago, but it is thought that milder, wetter winters do not favour this species.
You may remind me of a reject from a Gerry and Sylvia Anderson Thunderbirds production with your bushy eyebrows crawling like two hairy caterpillars across your brow, jerky walk and wooden delivery, but I'd never imagined you were anyone's puppet.
W HEN yellow-and-black hairy caterpillars emerge, in June and July and again in September and October, they feed furiously.