Friday, July 31, 2020


On Friday in the past we have done a "Friday Food Debate" where we tackle some of the burning questions of the culinary world, ha...we haven't done one in a while but this week we'll expand to another random fun question that just came up recently.

This week, the burning question is:

Both 2nd Man and I grew up calling the ubiquitous glowing Summer insects whose rear end lights up "lightning bugs"...but since I grew up in several states from Oklahoma to coast to coast, I've heard the word "firefly" as well.

Apparently it's fairly regional.  There is some thinking, though unproven, that lightning bugs are in the areas with the most Summer thunderstorms, hence "lightning"...and the fireflies are in areas with Summer wildfires, hence "fire".  Interesting indeed.  there are of course areas where things overlap and both words are used interchangeably.

There are some other words for them, some of which we had never even heard of:


So which insect are you?  Team firefly or team lightning bug?  Or something else entirely?


  1. Born and raised in N. Illinois and they were always called lightning bugs!
    I don't believe I have ever seen a lightning bug in Northern or Central California and now, in S. Colorado ... I know I've never seen one out here!

  2. I'm one of those weirdos who says both interchangeably. I grew up moving back & forth between blue & orange states & I see from your map that I now live in an area where it is blue with a cloud of orange - or is it the other way around? That makes sense since so few people here were actually born & raised here, so we're all what you might call "bi-insectual".;-)

  3. Growing up in Iowa we called them Lightening Bugs.
    I have a refrigerator magnet that I keep on the fridge that a late dear friend sent me years ago.

    ' I wish I was a glow worm.
    A glow worm's never glum.
    'Cos how can you be grumpy
    When the sun shines out your bum!'

    You all have a great weekend.

  4. I use both,which is odd,as I was born in Texas and lived Wuthin a 20 mile circle all my life (so far) I'm 77,btw

  5. Fireflies. I was born in Maryland but grew up all over the world.. Mostly people call them glowworms in europe. I have always called them fireflies everywhere I've been. I live in Seguin Tx not far from San Antonio. My husband was born and raised here in town and he calls them fireflies.

  6. I'm from Illinois and I've always called them Lightning Bugs. And this has been a good summer for them.

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    1. Baby boomers are already long retired. You are thinking about the kids of the radical hippies.

  8. I grew up in Ohio and they were lightening bugs. I live in Florida and don't think I have seen one in this area.

  9. Raised mostly in Minnesota called them firefly. Here in Iowa I have heard both used but usually lightening bugs.

  10. I grew up in New York and we called them lightning bugs. Since moving out west to CA and then OR, I have never seen another one. I miss seeing them in the evenings.

  11. Lightning bugs. I loved to catch them when I was kid. I always let them go! There is a wooded lot next to me and I've noticed them flying around there this summer. I've been wanting to buy the lot to keep it wooded, but the seller wants some outrageous amount for it. It always makes me smile to see them light up!

  12. Lightening bugs here in the areas where I've lived in Michigan. I've never lived in another state, but I've lived in the Detroit suburbs, the Lansing area, and now NE lower Michigan, and all have said Lightening bug.

    I notice Michigan is one of those mixed states, and I do remember meeting school classmates who used firefly, but thinking about it I'd guess those kids were from firefly states.

  13. I have lived in Nebraska all my life. We called them lightning bugs. I haven't seen many this summer, which is sad! I have also said "warsh" for wash. Always wondered if that was common in other states.


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