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Re: Spider hole

Posted by Fred on December 15, 2003

In Reply to: Re: Spider hole posted by ESC on December 15, 2003

: : : "Spider hole" suddenly jumped into the news yesterday.
: : : It is apparently a military term that has been around for awhile but can't seem to find the when or why of the phrase.

: : My morning paper (Dec. 15, 2003) carried a USA Today article by Bill Nichols, Tom Squitieri and Dave Moniz. It said "A 'spider hole' is a very tight camouflaged hiding place. The name comes from World War II when the Japanese used the holes to launch ambushes."

: : I would guess that maybe it came from the trapdoor spider.

: http://mamba.bio.uci.edu/~pjbryant/biodiv/spiders/Bothriocyrtum%20californicum.htm

William Saffire says this about spider holes in today's New York Times:

This ["spider hole"] is Army lingo from the Vietnam era. The Vietcong guerrillas
dug "Cu Chi tunnels" often connected to what the G.I.'s called "spider holes" --
space dug deep enough for the placement of a clay pot large enough to hold
a crouching man, covered by a wooden plank and concealed with leaves.
When an American patrol passed, the Vietcong would spring out, shooting.
But the hole had its dangers; if the pot broke or cracked, the guerrilla could
be attacked by poisonous spiders or snakes. Hence, "spider hole."