[Ads-l] "Gonna _Put a Cricket In Your Ear_''

guy1656@centurylink.net guy1656 at CENTURYLINK.NET
Thu Mar 12 12:23:37 UTC 2015

"Crickets" were also used in at least as early as WW2 by infantry
passing along hedgerows as a mechanical 'identify friend or foe'
noisemaker. Upon hearing a rustle in the thicket, a challenge pattern of
clicks was offered. If the proper response was not heard, you shot at
the unknown disturbance. The challenges were usually simple, such as one
challenge click expecting two response clicks.
There were many stories of allies being shot because the 'bug' failed to
operate, and other stories about an enemy acquiring the device off of a
fallen soldier and racking up tens or scores of kills by imitating the

I don't know if they were in use in WW1.

There were unintentional diagnostic noise sources as well; one famous
example was switching Thompson submachineguns from the classic,
gangster-era drum magazines to stick magazines. Besides being
interchangable with the M3 'grease gun' machinepistol, the stick
magazines eliminated the extremely distinctive wind-up-toy noise made by
the key-wound ratchet and pawl mechanism in the center of the Thompson drum.


On 03/12/2015 03:19 AM, paul johnson wrote:
 Growing up in Chicago in th '40's "crickets" were popular, a useless
but irritatingly noisy toy. Since replaced by bubble wrap.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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