Talk:Booby trap

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Needs disambiguation link at the minimum[edit]

For non-military people (ie, most people), a booby trap is a more general class of thing, often referring to pranks. The article claims that was the original usage, so it's perplexing that this article would focus so strongly on military use. Either this article should more strongly cover popular usage of the term, or a new page should be created to cover that and the disambiguation page should be updated.. There should also be a link to the disambiguation in this article. I would do it, but don't have time to make sure I'm following conventions.

Booby_trap_(disambiguation) -- Jodawi

Not all booby traps are military... some are created by very paranoid individuals. -- EmperorBMA / ブリイアン 07:23, 6 Feb 2004 (UTC)

What is the etymology of this phrase? -Speedeep 19:06, Nov 23, 2004 (UTC)

I think it comes from the trap's intent to insnare foolish people; "boobies" being fools. I'm not sure enough about this to add it to the article though. Noit 06:20, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The citation for the Ray Mears suggestion is the following youtube link: and the comment is about 2:50 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:15, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

What is a "booby"?[edit]

The link to the page for "booby" should be removed. I'm quite certain that birds are entirely unrelated to this topic.

Agreed -- removed. --Mrwojo 18:07, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

General usage[edit]

I think the first sentence should indicate that this concept exists in general usage beyond the military. A booby trap set up by the typical college student, for example, typically involves a bucket, water, a door, and no disintegrations. Non-military booby traps are commonly seen in movies too, playing a big part in Home Alone, The Goonies, and Indiana Jones. --Mrwojo 18:07, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Pot Growers[edit]

Those people growing illegal drugs also use these things to keep out intruders and Law Enforcement. Martial Law 10:44, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


There is whole paragraph directly quoted from TIME magazine - I'd be surprised if that were public domain:

"The Palestinian fighters had made their own preparations. Booby traps had been laid in the streets of both the camp and the town, ready to be triggered if an Israeli foot or vehicle snagged a tripwire. Some of the bombs were huge—as much as 250 lb (110 kg) of explosives, compared with the 25 lb (11 kg) a typical suicide bomber uses. On Day 2 of the battle, when the town had been secured but the fight in the camp was just beginning, an armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozer rolled along a three-quarter-mile (1.2 km) stretch of the main street to clear booby traps. An Israeli Engineering Corps officer logged 124 separate explosions set off by the vehicle, which was undamaged. In the camp, the explosive charges were even more densely packed, and tunnels had been dug between houses so that Palestinian fighters could move around without exposing themselves on the street. [1]"--Wikipeder 18:53, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

booby traps in movies and pyramids[edit]

i think a mention should be made about booby traps in indiana jones and in real life pyramids as well. any agreement? i agree with the movie part of it. it would be very helpful to those people that are looking for movies with booby traps.


The article said in the first line that grenades and land mines are examples of booby traps, and then in the next paragraph has a long explanation on why land mines are different than booby traps. I removed the parenthetical that said "such as landmines or grenades" from the first sentence. Note also that it said "landmines" whereas "land mines" is used elsewhere.

Criminal and Security use[edit]

It is a FACT that criminals use them, especially those growing Pot, making METH, keeping out intruders tresspassing on property owned by private armies. Some are shotguns rigged to tripwires, others are holes filled with punji stakes. Designs vary. I have seen a news broadcast in which local police had found some Pot growers, pot and booby traps, mostly shotguns rigged to shoot intruders. (talk) 21:55, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd be cautious of using booby traps for home security. If it results in injury to the trespasser, the homeowner could be sued. A device set to trigger a camera or an alarm is probably ok, but laws vary and you'd better know the law if you are going to create a trap for this purpose.-- (talk) 00:47, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Before WW2?[edit]

Surely booby traps have been used before ww2? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:30, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Should reflect non-military use more[edit]

I was interested to find out the reason why it's called a booby trap! However, I think the article should reflect much much more the more general use of the phrase that is prevalent nowadays. It can now mean any sort of metaphorical use of the term e.g. it's used in a BBC article describing phishing sites as booby-traps in web pages. Good luck and many thanks, Drum guy (talk) 14:32, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I would like to see some information here about the use of booby traps in Egyptian ruins. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 11 June 2009 (UTC)


According to the article Ruse of war#No_treachery or perfidy every device described here would be constitute a war crime. Prior to a list of examples of prohibited ruses, it says:

"When landmines were not marked or reported, or when they are disguised, they are perfidious per the Geneva Conventions, annex 10 October, 1980:"

If Ruse of war is correct shouldn't this article point that out that all the examples here are war crimes? Geo Swan (talk) 21:33, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Suggested merge[edit]

Booby trap:

  • Watchers - 53
  • Page views - 12760

Anti-handling device:

  • Watchers - Less than 30
  • Page views - 1726

Based on page views, Booby trap is nearly 9 times as popular as anti-handling device.


  • Booby trap is a more common term for the layman
  • Booby trap article is more developed than anti-handling deveice, which if anything is a bit over-technical and militaristic.

a_man_alone (talk) 11:20, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

VOIED[edit] Mark Rockwell, "ATF puts up $10,000 reward for info on Phoenix IED attacker", Government Security News, 1 Jun 2012.

There were three bomb attacks in the Glendale-Phoenix AZ May 2012 involving abandoned large yellow flashlights rigged to explode when the on/off switch is tested. ATF has a name for these devices: Victim-Operated Improvised Explosive Devices (VOIED).

--Naaman Brown (talk) 20:06, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Other malware besides viruses[edit]

The #Computer viruses section certainly needs to be changed to a section about malware in general. The most notable forms of malware to take advantage of booby-trapping and social engineering tactics are Trojan horses, not viruses. 2602:306:BCA6:8300:3406:4D80:8F69:EA9C (talk) 06:04, 26 February 2014 (UTC)