A w:green shield buggreen shield bug (Palomena prasina) in w:BudapestBudapest, w:HungaryHungary. It is an insect of the order Hemiptera, and so is one of the "true bugs".




  • To annoy.
  • To act suspiciously or irrationally, especially in a way that annoys others.
  • To install an electronic listening device or devices in.


  • First attested in this form around 1620 (referring to a bedbug), from earlier bugge, a conflation of two words:
  • Middle English bugge ("scarecrow, hobgoblin"), from Proto-Germanic *bugja- ("swollen up, thick"), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰew-, *bu- (compare Norwegian bugge ("big man"), dialectal Low German Bögge). Or, from a word related to buck and originally referring to a goat-shaped specter.
  • Middle English budde ("beetle"), from Old English budda (see sċearnbudda), from Proto-Germanic *buddô, *buzdô, from the same ultimate source as above (compare Low German Budde ("louse, grub"), Norwegian budda ("newborn domestic animal")). More at bud.
  • The term is used to refer to technical errors and problems at least as early as the 19th century, predating the commonly known story of a moth being caught in a computer.

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