Why do we call what a spider produces a cobweb?

Fancy the spider, whose rather obsessive web building has provided us with the metaphor that describes the most powerful electronic communications network ever. Of course, we surf while spiders spin, although like the spider we are also trying to catch something with our web, whether it’s the news, stock prices, or just dirty pictures.

Yet although we find plenty of corny jokes on our web, we certainly don’t “cob”: why does the spider? Cobweb was spun out from the Anglo-Saxon word, attercoppes, which means, “poison head.” By the Middle Ages they were abbreviating that to “cop” and calling its product a copweb. Finally it became easier to pronounce as cobweb.

Source: Who Put Butter in Butterfly... and Other Fearless Investigations into Our Illogial Language by David Feldman
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