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The word is often used in the phrase "merry as a grig". The word is of uncertain origin, though various theories have been suggested, such as a corruption of "merry as a cricket" or "merry as a Greek", as in Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida: "Then she's a merry Greek indeed." Johnson suggested that the word originally meant "anything below the natural size" (compare Swedish krik and Scots crick).



grig (plural grigs)

  1. little creature
    1. A cricket or grasshopper.
      • 1926, Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist (Ch. 5):
        The black rooks will fly away, my son, and you'll come back as brown as a berry, and as merry as a grig.
    2. An insect in the family Prophalangopsidae, related to katydids
    3. Any small eel.
    4. The broad-nosed eel. See glut
  2. heath.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Audrey to this entry?)


grig (third-person singular simple present grigs, present participle grigging, simple past and past participle grigged)

  1. (transitive) To irritate or annoy.