At Buglife we frequently wince at the distain, discrimination and disregard that we humans talk about the vast, wonderful and down-right essential spectrum of invertebrate life.
Clearly some bugs do little to help themselves to be loved and appreciated, but this does not mean that all 40,000 British species should be tarred by the less than conducive behaviour of a few species. Buglife sticks up for the unappreciated and ignored and we even try to improve the reputation of some of our more denigrated fellow earthlings such as wasps and spiders.
But some perceptions and prejudices are deeply ingrained in our language.
“It is lousy when a waspish individual is bugging you with their crabby discourse about spineless spongers on the internet, leeching other peoples content and giving nothing in return. Worse still if you are feeling sluggish and the notion of standing up to their negativity and giving them a flea in the ear instead gives you butterflies, afraid that you will open a can of worms, your grasshopper mind will seize and your eloquence drop to a snail’s pace. Rather than clam up or catch a crab perhaps you should leave a spidery note on a moth eaten scrap of paper informing them that they are nothing more that a cockroach, a leech, a worm, nay a maggot.”
Our language is not always so negative about bugs.
“It is great to be as fit as a flea, beetling about as busy as a bee, and we all want to be a fly on the wall. It warms the cockles of our hearts to see a shrimp of a child, a little mite, worming their way through education, stuck to their books like a limpet, indeed a proper bookworm.”
The balance is not good, so I am going to suggest a few more that could help give bugs a positive bounce.
• As patient as a spider
• As determined as a dung beetle
• Beeish – to describe someone who works hard for the good of the community
• A dragonfly – someone who is strong and fast in defence
Do you know any other bug related words or sayings? Have you got any suggestions for positive new ones?
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