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Bed Bugs

Posted by ESC on September 23, 2000

In Reply to: Bed Bugs posted by Lori Leigh on September 22, 2000

: What about "don't let the bed bugs bite"? I have heard it and was wondering the meaning and origin.

: Thanks.

Bed bugs are little biting parasites...that hang out in beds. Fortunately, I don't think they are a problem in most homes today. The only information I can offer is that the English started using the word "bug" in 1642, and "...Americans use the word much more than the English; thus we coined 'bed bug' around 1809, with the expression 'crazy as a bed bug' appearing in 1832 and 'snug as a bug in a rug' in 1842." (From "Listening to America" by Stuart Berg Flexner Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982.)
The way I remember the night-time rhyme is:
Sleep tight
Don't let the bed bugs bite
See you in the morning light.

Search the archives under "sleep tight" for a discussion of that phrase.