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any of numerous black, red, brown, or yellow social insects of the family Formicidae, of worldwide distribution especially in warm climates, having a large head with inner jaws for chewing and outer jaws for carrying and digging, and living in highly organized colonies containing wingless female workers, a winged queen, and, during breeding seasons, winged males, some species being noted for engaging in warfare, slavemaking, or the cultivation of food sources.
have ants in one’s pants, Slang. to be impatient or eager to act or speak.
Contemporary Examples

You looked like ants to me, with your strangely segmented bodies and horrid mandibles.
Life as the ‘PC Guy’ The Daily Beast Video November 8, 2009

She laughs when she recalls how he served her cereal from a box so old, there were ants in it.
Shooting the Stars With Fashion Photographers Markus and Indrani Abigail Pesta November 24, 2012

Brazilians much on ants, either covered in chocolate or, again, fried.
Forget the Starbucks Backlash—We Should Be Eating More Bugs Daniel Stone April 23, 2012

ants crawl everywhere, forcing visitors to watch their step.
This Cairo College Campus Is Now a ‘Warzone’ Jonathan Krohn February 17, 2014

I did have boxes of snails, aquariums with ants and flies and all that.
Isabella Does Bug Porn Will Doig October 30, 2008

Historical Examples

At last he said to himself: ‘Men are sociable creatures, like bees or ants.
The Brown Fairy Book Andrew Lang

There is no use trying to depend on killing all these ants after they have taken possession.
The Mayflower, January, 1905 Various

The life of ants, as well as that of bees, as far as we are concerned, is an unintelligible enigma.
The Insect World Louis Figuier

Who would ever have thought that a nest of ants would be so hard to kill?
Harper’s Young People, October 19, 1880 Various

These discoveries explain some hitherto inexplicable phenomena in the domestic economy of the ants.
Scientific American Supplement, No. 514, November 7, 1885 Various

any small social insect of the widely distributed hymenopterous family Formicidae, typically living in highly organized colonies of winged males, wingless sterile females (workers), and fertile females (queens), which are winged until after mating See also army ant, fire ant, slave ant, wood ant related adjective formic
white ant, another name for a termite
(slang) have ants in one’s pants, to be restless or impatient

c.1500, from Middle English ampte (late 14c.), from Old English æmette “ant,” from West Germanic *amaitjo (cf. Old High German ameiza, German Ameise) from a compound of bases *ai- “off, away” + *mai- “cut,” from PIE *mai- “to cut” (cf. maim). Thus the insect’s name is, etymologically, “the biter off.”

As þycke as ameten crepeþ in an amete hulle [chronicle of Robert of Gloucester, 1297]

Emmet survived into 20c. as an alternative form. White ant “termite” is from 1729. To have ants in one’s pants “be nervous and fidgety” is from 1934, made current by a popular song; antsy embodies the same notion.

n,n phr

An unrelaxed, disturbed condition; anxiety; acute restlessness: After two days at sea she began to get ants
Sexual excitement; the HOTS

Antenna Subsystem
antenna (shortwave transmission)
Antlia (constellation)

(Heb. nemalah, from a word meaning to creep, cut off, destroy), referred to in Prov. 6:6; 30:25, as distinguished for its prudent habits. Many ants in Palestine feed on animal substances, but others draw their nourishment partly or exclusively from vegetables. To the latter class belongs the ant to which Solomon refers. This ant gathers the seeds in the season of ripening, and stores them for future use; a habit that has been observed in ants in Texas, India, and Italy.


Read Also:

  • Ants in one’s pants, have

    Be extremely restless, uneasy, impatient, or anxious, as in This child just can’t sit still; she must have ants in her pants. This rhyming idiom calls up a vivid image of what might cause one to be jumpy. [ ; 1920s ] Be eager for sexual activity, as in Bill’s got ants in his pants […]

  • Antseranana

    noun a port in N Madagascar: former French naval base. Pop: 73 491 (2001) Former name Diégo-Suarez

  • Antsy

    unable to sit or stand still; fidgety: The children were bored and antsy. apprehensive, uneasy, or nervous: I’m a little antsy since hearing those storm warnings. Contemporary Examples Nevertheless, Daum eventually got antsy for something slightly busier. My Real Estate Obsession Jacob Bernstein May 11, 2010 But most people I talk to are generally on […]

  • Antsiness

    unable to sit or stand still; fidgety: The children were bored and antsy. apprehensive, uneasy, or nervous: I’m a little antsy since hearing those storm warnings. adjective antsier, antsiest (informal) restless, nervous, and impatient adj. 1838, American English, from plural of ant + -y (2); probably reflecting the same image as the slang expression have […]

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