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Not to be confused with incest, which people find disgusting for a different reason.

Insects are scary smallish critters, with six legs, three body sections, exoskeletons, and sometimes wings. They are arthopods, like crustaceans and arachnids (the latter of which has some species that are often mistaken for insects, like ticks and spiders, which have eight legs and not six).

They are easy to kill with DDT, or if you can't get that, Chlordane, and if you can't get that, you can irritate them with Diazinon.

Insects are likely to be on the earth when man has become extinct.

The study of insects is called entomology and is not to be confused with etymology - although that field of knowledge informs us that in British English a bug is a kind of insect, while in American English an insect is a kind of bug.

A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.
—Samuel Johnson
God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.
—Ogden Nash "The Fly"

Don't kill bugs[edit]

Not so pretty.

Everybody hates bugs.[1] (Except entomologists, but they don't count.) But why kill them? Just 'cause you hate something is no reason to kill it. You hoser. Take off, eh?

In popular culture[edit]

  • A specific sub-genre of horror films involves giant versions of familiar insects usually created by some random "radiation". For more information on this subject see the 1950s film "Them".
  • Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a musical piece called Flight of the Bumblebee
  • In 422 BCE, Greek playwright Aristophanes wrote a play called The Wasps. English composer Ralph Vaughan-Williams wrote incidental music for it over 2,300 years later, including a cracking good overture.
  • SHODAN calls people insects :nods:
  • Gregor Samsa was transformed into a "vermin", usually identified in translation as an insect, in Franz Kafka's novella Metamorphosis.
  • In the film version of Naked Lunch, our protagonists go through a period of addiction to bug powder... "It's a Kafka high - it makes you feel like a bug". The film also features an oversized talking insect.
  • Steely Dan made an album called "Katy Did"
  • An American pop band called themselves The Crickets; in response a British pop band called themselves The Silver Beetles Beatles.
  • In France, when one has the blues, one has the caffards.
  • The first words spoken by The Incredible Hulk were "get out of my way, insect!"
  • "Those crazy insects make me want to dance" - Oingo Boingo
  • Pokémon has a type of the titular creatures called the Bug type that contains species generally based real-life insects. An example in the series is Burmy, which is based on a bagworm and like real bagworms becomes a moth if male (male Burmy become Mothim) and more or less stays as a bagworm if female (female Burmy become Wormadam).
  • Bats aren't bugs!!!
  • However, "gnats" rhymes with "bats" and gnats are in fact bugs.
  • Sports teams named after insects are rare. Stinging insects like Bees,[2] Hornets,[3] Wasps[4] and Yellow Jackets[5] seem to be acceptable exceptions. An unusual exception is the University of California, Santa Cruz Banana Slugs,[6] a name chosen because the students and alumni wanted a sports nickname unlike any other.


  1. Though it isn't uncommon for people to make exceptions for insects that are both pleasant to look at and exhibit behavior that could be best summed up as "just flying around without biting and/or stinging people." Butterflies come to mind. Maybe dragonflies to a lesser extent, which are harmless and do a lot of flying around, but look a little less pretty than butterflies.
  2. Mainly in England.
  3. Notably, the New Orleans NBA team and a few small universities and colleges.
  4. Mainly in England.
  5. Most notably, Georgia Tech
  6. Okay, that's a mollusc. It's still unusual.