Why is a Booby Trap Called Booby Trap?
Mark recently wrote about the US First Amendment (the right to free speech) and I am sure the Second (the right to bear arms) will also be examined from a risk perspective at some point. For today, just something from the annals of deadly accidents, another winner of the infamous Darwin Award who couldn’t quite cope with said risks of said right:
To protect his family jewelry, XXX decided on a DIY approach. Recalling his childhood, when a loose tooth was tied to a doorknob and he was told by Papa, "When I slam this door that tooth will shoot out of your mouth like a bullet!" our man rigged a handgun trigger to pull when the door was opened by unauthorized personnel.
It then seems he forgot about his device, because he triggered the booby trap himself, thus becoming Darwin Award Winner #932!
Which brings me to the question in the title. It turns out that in Spanish, el bobo/la boba is an idiot, and the word started appearing in a similar meaning in the English language a few hundred years ago. In that sense, the term booby trap was originally used for pranks. That usage gradually changed, and nowadays it is a fully technical military term. Way to go for Mr. XXX to revive the original meaning!
 English is really fascinating that way, absorbing elements from many other languages and thus cultures.