20 Regional Names for Woodlice

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Chances are, you spent a significant portion of your childhood playing with woodlice or pill millipedes. These are actually two distinct animals that evolved separately but closely resemble each other. When threatened, pill millipedes can roll up into a perfect ball to protect themselves, so they're often called roly-polies or pillbugs. Woodlice are one of the few crustaceans that live on land, and they're common in many parts of the world.

For brevity's sake, we'll lump these two commonly confused critters together and give you a list of the best regional names. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and many names show up in several different regions and even on different continents. So tell us in the comments below what you call them and where you grew up. And please tell us you've never eaten them.

1. Cheesy-bugs or Cheeselogs (England)

2. Slaters (Scotland, New Zealand and Australia)

3. Gramersows or gramfers (Cornwall, England)

4. Butchy boys (Australia)

5. Boat-builders (Newfoundland, Canada)

6. Chisel bobs (England)

7. Woodpigs or timberpigs (England)

8. Monkey peas or peaballs (England)

9. Pishamares (England)

10. Potato bugs or tomato bugs (United States)

11. Sow bugs (United States and Canada)

12. Chuggie pigs, chuggy-pegs or chucky pigs (England)

13. Crunchy bats (England)

14. Wood bugs (Western Canada)

15. Pill bugs or roly-polies (United States)

16. Carpenters (Eastern Canada)

17. Granny greys (Wales)

18. Billy buttons (England)

19. Doodle bugs (United States)

20. Parson pigs (Isle of Man)

This piece was inspired by @MooseAllain; for more information, check out this blog post.

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June 3, 2013 - 4:00pm
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