Where Did the Term “Jitterbug” Come From For the Dancers in the 30s and What Does the Word Mean?

Band leader Cab Calloway coined the word jitterbug as a description of both the music and the dancers during the big band era.

It came from a time when drinking alcohol was prohibited by law, giving rise to the popularity of illegal booze.

Because of its hangover effect, moonshine had long been called “jitter sauce,” and Calloway, while watching the intoxicated dancers, labelled them “jitterbugs.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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