Does Minnesota Say ‘Lightning Bugs’ or ‘Fireflies’?
We got in a big discussion at my house the other night as we were wondering what the correct word is for the bug that lights up and flies around in the sky. Yeah, you know that bug. But is it a 'lightning bug' or is it a 'firefly'?
Growing up in Iowa, I would get a glass mason jar, put some grass in the bottom of it and a few sticks and fill the container up with lightning bugs. It was fun to catch those and I'm not sure why I thought they would make a great pet and live forever in a jar, but I did. Catching those little bugs with lights on them were a summer tradition and now I've got my own kids who are making memories with this creature.
When I moved to Rochester, I was a little confused though. I grew up calling the bug a lightning bug but I started hearing other people talking about fireflies...and I had no idea what they were referring to. I remember hanging out at Silver Lake in Rochester on a 4th of July night and watching kids catch the bright bugs and I heard a few parents praising their kids and saying, "Great job catching that firefly!". That was my a-ha moment when I learned that those two words meant the same thing.
I did a little survey the other day to see what most people in Minnesota are using for a name. The results are in and although many people say both names in our great state, the majority of people say 'fireflies'. After a little bit of research on why we have two different names, I found a story and a map on businessinsider.com that shows most of Minnesota says "fireflies" and most of Iowa says "lightning bug". You can see that here.