A few days ago, I facetiously suggested that we might settle the “fireflies vs. lightning bugs” debate. I know that we’ll never resolve it; its roots run deep in the American English linguistic experience. Sometimes, people see this as a North vs. South thing; however, with Americans’ increasing mobility and the resulting very interesting linguistic map of the US, this particular regionalism is becoming more and more diluted.
Thanks for participating in my informal poll. In case you were wondering, “lightning bugs” won. (One respondent offered a third choice: lightning bees!)
I think that you’ll enjoy this map that elucidates (no pun intended) the preference of “fireflies” or “lightning bugs” throughout the Continental US.
(If your locale is bereft of the luminescent critters or you’d like a more humane way to enjoy flecks of light in a jar this summer, check out this very simple craft idea!)