bug

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See also: büg, Bug, búg, and buug

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

First attested in this form around 1620 (referring to a bedbug), from earlier bugge (beetle), a conflation of two words:

  1. Middle English bugge (scarecrow, hobgoblin), from Proto-Germanic *bugja- (swollen up, thick) (compare Norwegian bugge (big man), dialectal Low German Bögge (goblin”, “snot)
  2. Middle English budde (beetle), from Old English budda (see scearnbudda (dung beetle)), from Proto-Germanic *buddô, *buzdô (compare Low German Budde (louse, grub), Norwegian budda (newborn domestic animal)). More at bud.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

A green shield bug (Palomena prasina) in Budapest, Hungary. It is an insect of the order Hemiptera, and so is one of the "true bugs".

bug (plural bugs)

  1. An insect of the order Hemiptera (the "true bugs").
  2. (colloquial) Any insect, arachnid, or other terrestrial arthropod that is a pest.
    These flies are a bother. I’ll get some bug spray and kill them.
  3. Various species of marine crustaceans; e.g. a Morton Bay bug.
  4. A problem that needs fixing, especially in computing.
    The software bug led the computer to calculate 2 plus 2 as 5.
    • 1878, Thomas P. Hughes quoting Thomas Edison, Edison to Puskas, 13 November 1878, Edison papers, quoted in American Genesis: A History of the American Genius for Invention, Edison National Laboratory, U.S. National Park Service, West Orange, N.J.: Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-009741-4, published 1989, page 75:
      I have the right principle and am on the right track, but time, hard work and some good luck are necessary too. It has been just so in all of my inventions. The first step is an intuition, and comes with a burst, then difficulties arise -- this thing gives out and [it is] then that "Bugs" -- as such little faults and difficulties are called -- show themselves and months of intense watching, study and labor are requisite before commercial success or failure is certainly reached.
  5. A contagious illness; a bacterium or virus causing it
    He’s got the flu bug.
  6. An enthusiasm for something; an obsession
    I think he’s a gold bug, he has over 10,000 ounces in storage.
    to catch the skiing bug
  7. An electronic intercept device
    We installed a bug in her telephone
  8. A small and and usually invisible file (traditionally a single-pixel image) on a World Wide Web page, primarily used to track users.
    He suspected the image was a web bug used for determining who was visiting the site.
  9. (broadcasting) A small, usually transparent or translucent image placed in a corner of a television program to indicate what network or cable channel is televising it
    Channel 4's bug distracted Jim from his favorite show
  10. (aviation) A manually positioned marker in flight instruments
  11. A semi-automated telegraph key
    • 1938, Paul Gallico, Farewell to Sport, page 257:
      At this point your telegraph operator, sitting at your right, goes "Ticky-tick-tickety-de-tick-tick," with his bug, as he calls his transmitter, and looks at you expectantly.
    • 1942, Arthur Reinhold Nilson, Radio Code Manual, page 134:
      As far as the dashes are concerned, the bug is the same in operation as any regular key would be if it were turned up on edge instead of sitting flat on the desk.
    • 1986, E. L. Doctorow, World's Fair, page 282:
      I was a very good radio operator. I bought my own bug. That's what the telegraph key in its modern form was called. It was semiautomatic.
  12. (obsolete) A bugbear; anything that terrifies.
    • Shakespeare
      Sir, spare your threats: / The bug which you would fright me with I seek.
  13. (chiefly LGBT, "the bug") HIV.
  14. (poker) A limited form of wild card in some variants of poker.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Adjectives often applied to "bug": major, minor, serious, critical, nasty, annoying, important, strange, stupid, flying, silly.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

Verb[edit]

bug (third-person singular simple present bugs, present participle bugging, simple past and past participle bugged)

  1. (informal, transitive) To annoy.
    Don’t bug me, I’m busy!
  2. (transitive) To install an electronic listening device or devices in.
    We need to know what’s going on. We’ll bug his house.

Synonyms[edit]

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Danish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse búkr.

Noun[edit]

bug c (singular definite bugen, plural indefinite buge)

  1. stomach
  2. abdomen
  3. belly

Inflection[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

English bug

Noun[edit]

bug f (plural bugs)

  1. (slang) A bug (a problem, especially in computing)

Karipúna Creole French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

bug

  1. boy (young male human)

References[edit]

  • 1987, Alfred W. Tobler, Dicionário Crioulo Karipúna/Português Português/Crioulo Karípúna, Summer Institute of Linguistics, page 5.

Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

bug m (plural bugs)

  1. (computing) bug (problem that needs fixing)

Synonyms[edit]