PALMER, a pilgrim who as a sign or token that he had made pilgrimage to Palestine carried a palm-branch attached to his staff, or more frequently a cross made of two strips of palm-leaf fastened to his hat. The word is frequently used as synonymous with " pilgrim " (see Pilgrtm.age). The name " palmer " or " palmer-worm " is often given to many kinds of hairy caterpillars, specifically to that of the destructive tineicl moth, Ypsilopbiis pomcteUa. The name is either due to the English use of " palm " for the blossom or catkin of the willow-tree, to which the caterpillars bear some resemblance, or to the wandering pilgrim-like habits of such caterpillars. Artificial flies used in angling, covered with bristling hairs, are known also as " palmers " or " hackles."
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)