“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

There have been many theories as to where the phrase, “Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” originated; some more interesting than others.  Here is a breakdown of those theories, and their origins:

  • The phrase dates from the days when mattresses were supported by ropes, which needed to be pulled tight to provide a well-sprung bed
  • The phrase refers to the tightness of bedclothes, intended to keep bedbugs at bay
  • That within the phrase, the word tightly, although not often used in this way now, means ‘soundly, properly, well’. In this way it would imply ‘fast asleep’.

Modern day use of this phrase can be taken quite literally, both for bed bugs and for the quality of mattress being slept on. Let’s just hope it’s a memory foam mattress and not ropes that anyone is sleeping on…



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