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90s Slang You Should Know


[fahyuh r-buhg] /ˈfaɪərˌbʌg/
noun, Informal.
arsonist; incendiary; pyromaniac.
Origin of firebug
An Americanism dating back to 1870-75; fire + bug1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for firebug
Historical Examples
  • I saw one of them enter the old barn and wondered if the firebug was armed.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol Henry Harley Arnold
  • You know they're after the firebug, an' you better watch out!

  • The sex maniac, the firebug, or the goon who gets a thrill out of beating people.

    Nor Iron Bars a Cage.... Gordon Randall Garrett
  • One more thing; if the fire had been set, was the firebug still about the place?

    The Firebug Roy J. Snell
  • Furthermore, Bill Bruce, you and I are going out in a plane this morning and catch that firebug.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol Henry Harley Arnold
  • Johnny told of his new task and of his hopes of capturing the firebug.

    The Firebug Roy J. Snell
  • They have been looking everywhere for the firebug, and offer a fifty-dollar reward.

    Airship Andy Frank V. Webster
  • That firebug has burned school houses, a recreation center, the zoo.

    The Firebug Roy J. Snell
  • And in all these fires the firebug had neither been seen nor traced.

    The Firebug Roy J. Snell
  • As he flashed by, the firebug raised his head and shook his fist at the plane.

    Bill Bruce on Forest Patrol Henry Harley Arnold
British Dictionary definitions for firebug


(informal) a person who deliberately sets fire to property
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for firebug

"arsonist," 1872, from fire (n.) + bug (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for firebug



An arsonist; pyromaniac

[1872+; fr fire plus bug, ''maniac'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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