hoop snake


Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to hoop snake: Drop bear

hoop snake

n.
In folklore, a kind of snake that grasps its tail in its mouth and moves with a rolling, hooplike motion.

hoop snake

n
(Animals) any of various North American snakes, such as the mud snake (Farancia abacura), that were formerly thought to hold the tail in the mouth and roll along like a hoop

Hoop snake

A hoop snake could take its tail in its mouth, form itself into a hoop, and roll along the ground at tremendous speed. Hoop snakes rolling along were to be absolutely avoided since they could easily outrun a boy and had a deadly stinger on the end of their tail that was dart-like and could be shot out for a considerable distance. The stinger was actually nonpoisonous, nondetachable, and of a horn-like material about one-eighth inch long. In truth, of course, the whole behavior was the figment of someone’s active imagination. Raymond L. Ditmar’s 1939 North American Snakes suggested that the origin of the myth lay in the fact that instead of coiling, this particular snake sometimes formed itself into a circle when resting.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Hoop snake - any of various harmless North American snakes that were formerly believed to take tail in mouth and roll along like a hoophoop snake - any of various harmless North American snakes that were formerly believed to take tail in mouth and roll along like a hoop
colubrid, colubrid snake - mostly harmless temperate-to-tropical terrestrial or arboreal or aquatic snakes
References in periodicals archive ?
Princess Olivia, helped by a hoop snake and Prince Dropoffsky, defeats Count Carlos Maximillian yon Dusselldorf and his mischievous minion, saves the kingdom, and ends up with a much-longed-for little sister.
The subtitle is indicative of the book's quirkiness: Wherein an Optimistic Slip of a Girl Brings Sunshine Into the Lives of Her Royal Parents, the Whiny King and the Scolding Queen, and Outsmarts the Despicable Count Carlos Maximillian von Dusseldorf (with two s's) and His Magical Minion, the Mischievous, Poetical Georgette and What is a Hoop Snake Anyway?
She weighed only about 100 pounds, and I figured one good swing would rocket her 20 feet along the barrier like a hoop snake.