American engineers have been calling small flaws in machines "bugs" for over a century. Thomas Edison talked about bugs in electrical circuits in the 1870s. When the first computers were built during the early 1940s, people working on them found bugs in both the hardware of the machines and in the programs that ran them.
The first 'bug report' was created by Grace Hopper. While debugging a commuter in 1947, she found that a moth had shown up between the relays. She took out the moth, attached it to a piece of paper, and created the first bug report. She is attributed as popularizing the term.
- Moth in the machine: Debugging the origins of "bug" - Did Grace Hopper really invent the term "bug" to describe software errors? - Computerworld staff - September 5, 2011.
- Computer Science. Yale.edu. Grace Hopper Story http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/tap/Files/hopper-story.html