From Middle English wasp, waspe, waps, from Old English wæsp, wæps, from Proto-West Germanic *wapsu, from Proto-Germanic *wapsō, from Proto-Indo-European *wobʰseh₂ ("wasp"), from *webʰ- (referring to the insect's woven nests). Compare Dutch wesp, German Wespe, Danish hveps. The metathesis of s and p reflects a process of some generality in Old English, cf. ascian ~ acsian; here, Latin vespa (also a cognate- cf. Old French wespe) may have helped tilt the scales in favour of -sp.