I was surprised to find that this is a really old word. The first spelling was "bugge" (in the 1600's), and it is thought to come from Welsh bwg (pronounced "bug"), meaning "ghost". "Bugge" was used at that time to mean goblin or scarecrow (maybe people thought scarecrows were a form of goblin, huh?).
The first documented use of "bug" to mean a beetle or other insect is1783. There is disagreement about whether this came from the "bugge" that was used earlier, or was of some other origin that is unknown.
I didn't find a date when "bug" also came to mean "secret recording device" or, as a verb, "to record secretly", but I do know that using the term "bug" came from the fact that these devices were small "bug"-shaped things.
I'm afraid the origin is UNKNOWN. Sorry.
the word bug
relating to computer problems
came about when many years ago a team of
computer engineeers and designers were stood
around this huge prototype computer
that took lots of manhours and money to build
after the head engineer said the 54321 countdown
and switched it on it all came to life and worked perfectly for a few minutes,until a fly flew into the inside of it and shorted its electrics the whole thing stopped dead.
Apart from the absence of time dates and who and where this happened ,mostly due to my forgetfulness it is
otherwise indeed a very true story
and that is why the word bug was included
into words that mean "flaw" in computer terminology
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