What Are Head Lice?
Lice is the plural form of louse, and a louse is "any of numerous small, flat-bodied, wingless biting or sucking insects of the orders Mallophaga or Anoplura, many of which are external parasites on various animals, including humans."
Another definition for louse
(the two-legged kind) is "a person who has a nasty or unethical character undeserving of respect [synonyms: worm, insect, dirt ball]"
outbreak is an "infestation of the scalp with lice [synonym: pediculosis capitis or Pediculus humanus capitis ]"
Wait, it gets worse.
A nit is "the egg or young of a parasitic insect, such as a head louse."
It's easy to see
how an unpleasant person could come to be associated with a blood-sucking insect like head lice
. The word "lousy" means infected with lice, but also has the common usages of being bad at something (lousy at sports), or having too much of something (like someone was infested with something, such as being lousy with money).
The terms "nit-picker"
or "picks at nits" literally mean removing head lice eggs from an infested person. Nits are even tinier than lice, so removing them is a very detailed and tedious job. Therefore a "nit-picker" today has the meaning of someone who finds fault with the tiniest detail.
Regardless of the meaning,
anything associated with the word "louse" or "lice" is going to be thoroughly unpleasant. In fact, I'm itching while writing this, and I've never had the little bloodsucking head lice
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