The Insect RaceI was aware of ladybird as the British version of ladybug, but I fell to wondering which came first. I finally got around to checking the other day. The Online Etymology Dictionary says, "ladybug (1699; cf. Ger. cognate Marienkäfer) which now is called ladybird beetle (1704) in Britain, through aversion to the word bug, which there has overtones of sodomy."
Ready, steady, off they go!
The beetle's in the lead!
The grasshoppers are gaining,
With a sudden burst of speed.
The worm has turned the corner,
And the crowd begins to clap,
But the spider and the ladybird
Are closing up the gap!
I don't suppose that's the origin of the phrase 'having a bug up your ass'...