From Middle English moldwarp, moldewarp, moldewerp, (also molwarpe, molewarpe), from Old English *moldeweorpe, ("mole"; literally "earth-thrower"; compare Old English wandeweorpe (“mole”)), from Proto-Germanic *muldawurpiz (“earth-thrower, mole”), equivalent to mould + warp. Cognate with Scots malwart, modewarp (“mole”), Dutch molworp (“mole”), Low German mulworp, molworm (“mole”), German Maulwurf (“mole”), Danish muldvarp (“mole”), Swedish mullvad (“mole”), Icelandic moldvarpa (“mole”).
mouldwarp (plural mouldwarps)
- (now regional) A mole, Talpa europea.
1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy, 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):, II.3.1.i:
- as the moldiwarp in Æsop told the fox […], you complain of toys, but I am blind, be quiet […].
- 1913, DH Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Penguin 2006, p. 19:
- "Yi, an' there's some chaps as does go round like moudiwarps." He thrust his face forward in the blind, snout-like way of a mole, seeming to sniff and peer for direction.