A Bribe? No! An Earwig!: At one point, the following colloquy broke out between Scruggs and Judge Neal Biggers:
THE COURT : All right. Mr. Scruggs, then, did you do what the prosecutor just said you did, as far as your acts in this charge are concerned?
THE DEFENDANT : I joined the conspiracy later in the game. It’ s not exactly as the prosecutor allocuted, in that there was no intent to bribe the judge; it was an intent to earwig the judge, Judge Lackey; and that that – – the earwigging idea was not originated by me or anyone in our firm, although we went along with it, at the beginning of – – sometime in March.
We’re not sure if it’s a regional thing or a generational thing, but we had no idea what this meant. Turns out, it makes sense. According to Merriam-Webster, the word has two definitions.
1: earwig, n,: any of numerous insects (order Dermaptera) having slender many-jointed antennae and a pair of cerci resembling forceps at the end of the body (pictured);
2. earwig, v: to annoy or attempt to influence by private talk.
WSJ Law Blog