Much like grasshoppers and crickets, katydids produce sound by rapidly moving their wings to attract mates. Unlike their relatives, however, females also make sound, and this results in a characteristic back-and-forth natural symphony, marked by one side making three bursts of noise and the other responding with four. According to some people, these noises sound like Katy did, Katy didn't - an argument between two insects. And that's how we got the name! Since the word's introduction in 1784 by US botanist John F. D. Smyth, it peaked in usage in the 1940s, and utilization has been fairly constant since the '60s. The name Katy, Caty, Catie, or Katie is a shortening of Catherine, a name that possibly traces back to the Ancient Greek word hekateros, which meant "each of the two" and might be connected to the goddess Hecate. Did comes from do, and that didn't change much throughout history as it developed from Proto-Indo-European deh, with the same definition.
Adam Aleksic is a 220-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard University in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd