What do you name the sport of recognizing a VW Beetle?

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First: It’s the official place of Volkswagen of America that nobody ought to throw or obtain a punch (or perhaps a faucet for that matter) merely upon seeing a Volkswagen Beetle. Volkswagen doesn’t condone any type of violence, particularly over an icon of the peace-and-love period just like the Beetle.

That stated, it’s well-known that generations of bored American kids on the street have invented and handed down a sport across the Beetle. However there’s additionally a lingering debate that has by no means been settled: What do you name it – slug bug, or punch buggy? It seems the reply could say extra about the place you grew up than the rest.

Nobody could ever understand how this little bit of childhood got here into existence. The Volkswagen Beetle first arrived in the US in 1949, nevertheless it wasn’t till the mid-‘50s that the Beetle turned extra widespread, standing out on the brand new interstate system like a UFO among the many extra usually large, squared-off sedans and wagons.

After in depth analysis, we had been unable to search out somebody claiming to be the primary to play the sport. However we did unearth what will be the first revealed reference to it, from the Might 6, 1964 version of the Arizona Republic, the place a columnist wrote a question-and-answer together with his daughter, who tells him “I believe the slug bugs are cute.”

There’s a little bit of etymology to again up “slug bug” as the primary title of the competition: Sports activities writers had used “slug bugs” as shorthand for boxing followers because the 1920s. It might take one other 14 years for the primary revealed reference to “punch buggy” to search out its approach into print — in 1978, in Florida.

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Immediately, we have now just a few extra instruments to measure how usually individuals use a phrase, and by these yardsticks, the 2 phrases have roughly equal audiences on serps and in social media. However our evaluation did discover one thing uncommon in the place these names pop up: “punch buggy” is the time period most frequently used on the coasts, whereas “slug bug” is extra predominant within the Midwest and southern states.

No matter you name it, we’d say once more that while you see a Beetle on the street at present, hitting somebody is rarely the appropriate response. Attempt hugs, not slugs.


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