Friday, July 9, 2010
Dust bunnies are made of stuff that's all clumped together, like hair, lint, fibers, cobwebs, and dead skin. And sometimes there are some trashy little things like paper and feathers in them, too. The reason all this stuff sticks together is because of static electricity and also because of something called felting, which mashes a bunch of fibers together and makes a kind of fabric.
And the other bad thing that dust bunnies do is they can clog up the vents of your electronic equipment and make it get too hot because it can't breathe.
When Mom was growing up, she never heard of a "dust bunny." At her house, they were just called "dust balls." But when she got to college, then she heard about "dust bunnies," and she thought maybe it was just people in certain parts of the country who called them that. So I did some in-depth research on where the term "dust bunny" came from, but I could not find out who used it first or where they used it.
What I did find out was that it started about 1966, and that was only a few years before Mom went to college and learned that there were dust bunnies under her bed. I also found out that the British do not call a clump of dust a "bunny," and neither do the people who speak Polish, German, Spanish, or Danish. African-Americans call them "dust balls," just like Mom used to do. But the French people call them sheep!
Here are some other things you can call a dust bunny: dust kitty, dust kitten, turkey's nest, beggar's velvet, or slut's wool.