Posted: Jan 01, 2011 3:11 pm
by NineBerry
bug (n.)

"insect," 1620s (earliest reference is to bedbugs), probably from M.E. bugge "something frightening, scarecrow" (late 14c.), a meaning obsolete except in bugbear (1570s) and bugaboo (q.v.); probably connected with Scot. bogill "goblin, bugbear," or obsolete Welsh bwg "ghost, goblin" (cf. Welsh bwgwl "threat," earlier "fear"). Cf. also bogey (1) and Ger. bögge, böggel-mann "goblin." Perhaps influenced in meaning by O.E. -budda used in compounds for "beetle" (cf. Low Ger. budde "louse, grub," M.L.G. buddech "thick, swollen"). Meaning "defect in a machine" (1889) may have been coined c.1878 by Thomas Edison (perhaps with the notion of an insect getting into the works). Meaning "person obsessed by an idea" (e.g. firebug) is from 1841. Sense of "microbe, germ" is from 1919. Bugs "crazy" is from c.1900. ... search=bug