Fake Etymologies

Interesting is better than true.

cat‧er‧pil‧lar, n. /ˈkætəpɪlər/

A compound word composed of “cater-“ (see “catenary”) and “pillar.” With their length and segmented bodies, they resemble tiny, knocked-over pillars.

As with many such constructions, “caterpillar bug” became simply “caterpillar.”