From Middle English, from Old English ātorcoppe (“spider”), corresponding to atter (“poison, venom”) + cop (“head”). The latter is still to be found in the English word cobweb. Cognate to Dutch etterkop (“peevish or ill-natured person”).
attercop (plural attercops)
- (obsolete except in dialects) A spider.
- (obsolete except in dialects) A peevish or ill-natured person.