Origin of lightning bug
An Americanism dating back to 1770–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for lightning bug
When the sun struck him right, he was as good to follow as a lightning-bug.Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
I want to get a new specimen of a lightning-bug I noticed in the garden.
In Borneo there is a species of lightning-bug that tourists carry around at night on spits, delighted with the novelty.Tales of Fishes
It was a rare kind, and I almost had one when a mosquito bit me and I had to let the lightning-bug go.
- US and Canadian another name for the firefly