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Old 10-23-2009, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: On the level, if inclined
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Slug Bug or Punch Buggy or Buggy Punch?

Which is it?
Where did you learn it (Geography & time)?
Any punch/slug-backs?
Do you use the variation where you smack someone once for each letter as you spell out the color?

Seattle, 1980s. No Slug-backs. For me it's always been: "Slug Bug! R-E-D" involving three good smacks to the arm. If you're really good you come up with colors like "Crimson" or "Mauvy Shade Of Pinky Russet"

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 10-23-2009 at 09:12 AM.
Old 10-23-2009, 09:24 AM
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slug bug
Old 10-23-2009, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Not Beijing
Posts: 1,643
slug bug - it has a good rhythm to it (no color mentioned)
Learned it in Michigan and played it with my brother and sister all the time in the late '80's & early '90s.
We instituted the no-slug back, because we were abusing a loop-hole that we would be punching each other over one car for eternity.

Super cheesy variation below. Don't open it if you value your lunch.
I was playing with my wife once, and I was a little too quick and hit her pretty hard. She was fine with it, but I felt guilty. We changed the game to "hug bug" and kept tally of all the VW bugs we saw during the day. We could then exchange them for hugs and other, ahem, stuff.
Old 10-23-2009, 09:46 AM
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Midwest, 1970's. Slug-bug.
Old 10-23-2009, 09:48 AM
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Midwest, 70s, 'slug a bug'
Old 10-23-2009, 09:49 AM
Isaiah 1:15 Screw the NRA.
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SoCal, 70s, slug-bug
Old 10-23-2009, 09:52 AM
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Maryland, late '60s through mid '70s. Punch Buggy. We didn't do the 'color thing', though we did do 'no punch back'! Now, my 9YO daughter has added "PT Cruiser: watch out loser!" to the game!
Old 10-23-2009, 09:53 AM
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 42,531

Can someone give more detail to those unfamiliar with it. Is there anything more to this than hitting your brother/sister in the backseat and shouting something?
Old 10-23-2009, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Stockton
Posts: 10,238
My kids played it in the eighties and nineties. It was slug bug for them.
Old 10-23-2009, 10:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: 10 sq miles of reality
Posts: 1,962
Maine in the eighties: Punch-buggy color. Punch packs were not a part of the game, so never had to call that.

Then in high school we added "Padiddle" if there were girls in the car. A car with one headlight out got you a kiss.
Old 10-23-2009, 10:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,490
Which is it? Slug bug.
Where did you learn it (Geography & time)? Late 80's, early 90's, Texas.
Any punch/slug-backs? You had to wipe your punch off or the other person could hit you back.
Do you use the variation where you smack someone once for each letter as you spell out the color? No. One bug, one slug.

Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post

Can someone give more detail to those unfamiliar with it. Is there anything more to this than hitting your brother/sister in the backseat and shouting something?
That's basically it. If you were driving* and you saw a Volkswagen Bug you would shout "Slug bug, <car color>!" and then hit your sibling or friend in the arm. Where I'm from you had to wipe the spot you punched off with your hand. If you forgot this important part they could hit you back.

*You didn't actually have to be in a car, it worked walking around too. You just tend to see more when driving.

Last edited by Terraplane; 10-23-2009 at 10:07 AM.
Old 10-23-2009, 10:30 AM
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Location: NY (Manhattan) NY USA
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Never heard of it. Haven't the vaguest idea what any of you are talking about. And if I come to your party I sure as hell ain't drinking your punch.
Old 10-23-2009, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Smurf Village.
Posts: 10,792
Slug Bug, no colors or punch backs.

Mid 80's in Oklahoma.

What was awesome was my grandpa bought old beat up bugs and then fixed them up and resold them so he always had several in the barn or out in the pasture and whenever we would go to visit it would be a slug bug massacre.
Old 10-23-2009, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southeast of something
Posts: 3,618
Which is it? Slug Bug
Where did you learn it (Geography & time)? New Jersey - 60s
Any punch/slug-backs? If the person was mistaken, they can be hit back.
Do you use the variation where you smack someone once for each letter as you spell out the color? In modern times with my kids, we have several rules that we sort of make up as we go along. You get double punches for old bugs, yellow bugs, convertibles, etc. These can be added on, e.g., if you see an old, yellow convertible, the person is basically getting beat up. Any sort of unusual bugs get extra punches depending on their unusual-ness. We passed a police station that had a bug decked out as a police car (probably for a DARE program), and I informed the kids I get to kill one of them.

Originally Posted by Paintcharge View Post
Then in high school we added "Padiddle" if there were girls in the car. A car with one headlight out got you a kiss.
I always thought we were the lone weird family who played padiddle (with punching, not kissing). Upon research, we were not alone.
Old 10-23-2009, 10:49 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Central WA
Posts: 1,385
Slug bug.

Central Washington, early 70s. Just your standard slug bug; no spelling punches, no slug backs. My dad taught us.
Old 10-23-2009, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary
Posts: 3,819
Punch Buggy, 'no returns' were allowed.

80's, Western Canada.

We also did pididdle for one headlight, but it was a slap dash-slap dash-hit roof thing. Pidaddle was for one tail light, same motion.
Old 10-23-2009, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 5,391
Slug bug, mostly. Calling out the color was mandatory, and you could get two more for flinching. You also got punched back if either a) the car wasn't a VW bug or b) you started yelling it out, because you thought you saw one, but then stopped mid-yell because you really didn't.

I'm a lady type, and I never hit anyone very hard, more of a tap on the shoulder. The Mr's sister, though - she really laid it on you. Ouch.

We Pididdled too. We even had another word based on which light was out - the left was Pididdle, the right was some other P-word which I've forgotten. When you said "pididdle," you also hit the roof.

And you always hit the roof while driving over railroad tracks. I took to doing it as many times as I could over the tracks - someone told me that each hit extended your life by some weirdo amount, like 5 minutes or such.
Old 10-23-2009, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: TX
Posts: 13,386
Slug bug, no colors or punch backs, Texas, 80's.

Last edited by pravnik; 10-23-2009 at 01:29 PM.
Old 10-23-2009, 02:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: the dirty south
Posts: 42
Slug bug, sometimes with colors but not always, never punchbacks, Georgia, early 90's.

Also, I think the kids now do it with PT Cruisers, but it's a "Cruiser Bruiser".
Old 10-23-2009, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 22,017
My kids, now, Twin Cities Minnesota

Slug Bug, no backs!

It isn't the thing that drives me the most crazy that they do in the back seat.

(Anyone do the piddiddle for kisses thing - one headlight out on dates? - Midwest - 1980s)
One day, in Teletubbie land, it was Tinkie Winkie's turn to wear the skirt.
Old 10-23-2009, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tualatin Valley
Posts: 1,606
Its usually in my car....

Slug Bug, biotch!
Old 10-23-2009, 04:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Durango, CO
Posts: 3,654
This was one of the best parts of owning an old style VW beetle.
Old 10-23-2009, 04:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: 'burbs of Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 14,011
(Insert color) punch buggy, no punch backs!

Ohio, mid-80's til present
Old 10-23-2009, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 2,744
Slug Bug. Learned it in March 1985 from my best friend. She was from Northern Ohio, and they played it all the time up there. We were on choir tour, and she whacked me in the shoulder while yelling, "Slug bug red no slug back!" I looked at her like she was totally insane for a minute, but then played along. We had matching bruises when we got to our next destination.

I, of course, did what any good parent would do, and passed it on to my kids. Nobody better hit me this afternoon, though. I got a flu shot today. I may have to call a slug bug moratorium.
Old 10-23-2009, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 2,926
Slug bug. No colors. No punchbacks.

Oklahoma, mid 80s (from the spousal unit, who had played as a kid in the 70s).

I don't really remember specifics, that was a while back and my mind ain't what it used to be.

I do remember once waiting quietly, carefully, and attentively, for the giant VW salvage yard out somewhere back of beyond. Slugfest! Mwahahahaha.

ETA: I think you did get a punchback if it wasn't really a SlugBug, or if it was one that had already been slugged on.

Last edited by redtail23; 10-23-2009 at 04:43 PM.
Old 10-23-2009, 06:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 14,001
My sister and I play Punch Bug, Punchbacks allowed if they are called immediately, but in our variation we incorporate rare VWs and assign them point values based on rarity.

New Bug-1
New Bug Convertible-2
Old Bug-3
Old Bug Convertible-4
Bus (Type 2s and Vanagons, no Eurobus)-5
Type 3-6
Karmann Ghia-7
The "Thing"-8

We have found all of them around here, including the SP2. Mostly, though, it's old and new Bugs and the Bus, with an occasional Karmann Ghia and Thing.

We also play Cruiser Bruiser, with the convertible meriting 2, and Beaverwood (real or fake wood paneling), each meriting one.

When all is said and done after a long trip the points are tallied, and the winner gets to pop the loser the difference in score. Sometimes we hit hard, but not usually. In other words, she rarely wins.

Ah, the games of our childhood. Too bad we have to get old, but that doesn't mean we have to stop playing them.
Old 10-23-2009, 07:55 PM
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Southwest (New Mexico) 1950's and 60's we had a regional trucking company called ICX.
So it was: ICX (I-See-X), No backs!
Old 10-23-2009, 08:18 PM
Shouting Grasshopper
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Meridian/280
Posts: 13,257
Which is it? Slug Bug

Where did you learn it (Geography & time)? SoCal -- just a few years ago from my friend's niece and granddaughter.

Any punch/slug-backs? Only if the declared vehicle turns out not to be a bug, or the hitter calls the wrong color (a matter of great debate sometimes!)

Do you use the variation where you smack someone once for each letter as you spell out the color? No.
Old 10-23-2009, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 20,487
OK, I'm going to go against the majority here. I learned how to play in the 70's in Western Pa. and it was "Punch a bug - no returns." Everybody in my region knew it as "Punch a bug," so it must have been some kind of regional oddity. And we didn't give extra punches for the color of the Beetle. And it was more fun if you were riding in a school bus on a field trip with your class, Scout troop, or whatever.
Old 10-23-2009, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 22,219
Northeast, early 80s: Punch Buggy. I never heard Slug Bug before this thread. We didn't do anything with colors but say it, but did "no punch backs".
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 21,524
I learned it as "slug bug" with a simultaneous single punch to the arm. This was in northern WV in the 1970's. There was no mention of slug/punch backs and a second hit by someone else for the same bug was strictly forbidden.

My kids learned it as "green punch buggy no punch back" (substituting the appropriate color of course) with a simultaneous single punch. If you forget the "no punch back" part then the person you punched is allowed to punch you back, again with only a single punch. This is in southern PA (not far from Gettysburg) in the 1990's.

I like "slug bug" better. It's short and to the point.
Old 10-23-2009, 10:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 3,298
I've been waiting for some time for a thread like this to come up.

As to the OP it was always and still is punch buggy. But I've made up a new one for smart cars and a lot of people I know have started doing it now.

It's "smart stab!" then you poke them.
Old 10-24-2009, 01:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 34,171
Didn't play it much, but it was always slug bug. You had to specify no slug-backs. And we always kept score, as we didn't punch very hard. (It was only me and my sister.)
Old 10-24-2009, 02:53 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: The 13th Floor
Posts: 1,418
First, growing up in TX, it was "slug bug" (color of car).

Then, I met friends who moved from Baltimoron to TX and we changed the name to "Punch Buggy "(color of car")

Later, while I was dating cousin of friend from Baltimoron, we changed the rules of the game to "kiss buggy" (color of car).

Yeah, we were disgustingly romantic. We didn't last. She hates me now.

Last edited by Uncle Brother Walker; 10-24-2009 at 02:54 AM. Reason: No kiss backs was not an option.
Old 10-24-2009, 11:29 AM
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I learned it from my kids circa 2008. For them it's "punch buggy," and you can call "no punchbacks." Of course, I don't actually allow them to hit each other, so now I just hear, "Punch-buggy, I called it." Seems to me there's a variation for convertible punch-buggies, but I can't remember what it is. The kids are also now calling Smart Cars, for what it's worth.
Old 10-24-2009, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Censored
Posts: 19,009
Learned it in New Mexico in the 80s. We didn't punch each other as children. I didn't learn the punching part until high-school. We had to mention the color, but it had nothing to do with how many times you got punched. It was binary.

Last edited by mswas; 10-24-2009 at 11:53 AM.
Old 10-24-2009, 12:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,644
It's "[color] punch buggy", you stupid idiot heads. Because adjectives come before nouns in English, duh.

If there were girls in the car in high school, we would play strip padiddle, driver excluded. I always drove. It was awesome.
Old 10-24-2009, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,644
Oh, sorry. Pittsburgh, mid 90s.
Old 10-24-2009, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 4,398
Slug bug, sometimes color, never had to worry about slugbacks
TN, 70s

My husband and I used to give an extra slug for any of the following, and they could be combined:
old bug
decorated (bumper stickers or fancy plate or painting)
Non-US bug (when we were in Canada)
for sale sign on the bug

I drive a yellow bug and always laugh when I see people slug each other over it.
Old 10-24-2009, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Chicago
Posts: 327
Kids do slug bug. I think they got it from my wife; I don't recall doing this as a kid. Both Midwest 1970s.
Somehow out of state plates (on anything) got added. There's a lot of punching in the family.
Old 10-24-2009, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 2,744
Originally Posted by LunarPlexus View Post
Somehow out of state plates (on anything) got added. There's a lot of punching in the family.
We don't punch for those, but if the plate is from a state not close to ours, we yell, "Landed Alien Out of Zone!" We yelled "Landed Alien Way-the-Heck Out of Zone" when we saw a plate from Alaska.
Old 10-24-2009, 08:19 PM
Graphite is a great
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It certainly goes back to the 1940S as "Padiddle."
Old 10-24-2009, 08:54 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 11,633
Never heard of it until about 10 yrs ago.

Grew up on the East Coast (DC Suburbs, Vermont, Upstate NY) in the 60's and 70's. The family went on a lot of road trips.
Old 10-25-2009, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 739
Slug bug - sounds cutest. (Northern California, 80s-90s). Continual punching till the punchee said the color of the car, resulting in lots of "Rrgh! black! red! blue! yellow! green! white! etc....".

Sometime in the early 00s, bugs overran my city, so we switched to Out of State License Plate for a while. Then we stopped playing.
Old 10-25-2009, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Nearly Mile High
Posts: 9,182
Slug Bug, Alaska, 1970s. Just one punch, but had to be qualified by the puncher saying to the punchee "no slug bug Backs!"

Last edited by CanvasShoes; 10-25-2009 at 03:21 PM.
Old 10-26-2009, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,174
Slug Bug, one hit per bug, color is usually mentioned but is not required. 80's/90's Northern Idaho. What's this "no slugs back" crap? You wait until the next bug to smack me, there are no freebies in Slug Bug.

My folks and I did Squeeze Bug instead of smacking each other. The squeeze was that horrible goose above the knee that makes me twitch and squeal, I often thought that I'd rather be slugged.

One headlight - smack the roof of the car and yell "Beer Me!" Which was dumb because we never had beer when we were young enough to play.
Cop lights - "Sex lights!" Everyone else in the car joins in for, "Someone's gettin' screwed!"
Old 10-26-2009, 02:26 PM
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I never played it and never even heard of it until I was a junior in high school in western New York, circa 1986. A teacher of mine told the story of a cross-country trip he took with a friend just after they graduated from high school, circa 1970. As they were driving along, the friend yelled "punch buggy" and punched my teacher as hard as he could while he (the teacher) was driving. That must have been a fun trip.

Last edited by bibliophage; 10-26-2009 at 02:27 PM.
Old 10-26-2009, 04:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: The Zen Arcade
Posts: 8,292
I learned it as slug-bug. Twin Cities, late seventies.
Red or convertible would get you 2.
Red convertible is 3.

We played pretty hard, and bruises were not uncommon. one time we went to Mexico in the early 90s and had to suspend all slugbug until shoulders healed.

We also played Car-Truck! (puking sound). Just the puking sound. No violence.

My son has the benefit of learning from the Irish cousin that stayed with us two summers. They play Yellow-Car! like slug bug in Ireland. So my son brutalizes me with all kinds of vehicles.
Old 10-26-2009, 05:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 114
Slug Bug
Midwest 1980's
If the person was mistaken, you got 2 punches back.
Old 10-26-2009, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 2,796
Punch buggy. No punch backs (mom wouldn't allow it.)

Course, we actually drove a VW bug at the time - so the first one was like calling shotgun. It was a race to not be the loser.

Of course, if we both called it - the first one to yell out the color got it.

If we both said it at the same time - it was followed by "jinx one two three - not it! you owe me a coke!"

Or something like that. I dunno. We owned a VW bug AND a VW van. My dad was a teacher, my mom drove school bus, we lived in a tourist beach town. I'm surprised I wasn't named moonglow.

totally off topic: anybody else ever have to ride on a board suspended between the driver and passenger seat in the front of a VW van? Now THAT was safety . . .
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