The term derives from the Latinvermis (worm), and was originally used for the worm-like larvae of certain insects, many of which infest foodstuffs. The term varmint (and vermint) has been found in sources from c. 1530–1540s.
Varmint or varmit is an American-Englishcolloquialism, particularly common to the American East and South-east within the nearby bordering states of the vast Appalachia region. The term describes farm pests which raid farms as opposed to those that infest farms, referring mainly to predators such as feral dogs, foxes, weasels, and coyotes, sometimes even wolves or rarely bears, but also, to a lesser degree, herbivores and burrowing animals that directly damage crops and land.
Although this version of the word "vermin" is not a prevalent term in Standard Written English, it is a common descriptor for certain kinds of weapons and pest control situations in the Appalachian and nearby states and the American west and south-west which have adopted terms such as varmint rifle and varmint hunting.