One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tailless amphibian with a short squat body, moist smooth skin, and very long hind legs for leaping.
Frogs are found in most families of the order Anura, but the ‘true frogs’ are confined to the large family Ranidae
- ‘They had everything from frogs to boa constrictors.’
- ‘Scientists now suggest that the diet of Colombian poison-dart frogs, shown above, causes their skin to be toxic.’
- ‘Dr Harnett said pond insects and water plants were already thriving, and some visitors had seen newts and frogs.’
- ‘The European common frog has a small, squat body and a wide, flat head.’
- ‘From every direction frogs leaped, skidded, and dived toward the safety of deeper water.’
- ‘Water provides a breeding place for frogs, toads, newts and dragonflies.’
- ‘Bullfrogs, unlike native frogs, are unpalatable to the non-native fishes.’
- ‘A frog leaps off the bank into a shallow pond just as a hummingbird pauses for nectar from a flaming red salvia plant.’
- ‘Scientists suspect that frogs use skin poisons as a defense against predators and microbes.’
- ‘Reilly will compare the population status and dynamics of the European common frog in the three different types of peat bogs found in Ireland.’
- ‘The new pond has been created to encourage frogs, newts, toads, dragonflies and butterflies.’
- ‘Amphibians, such as frogs and toads, can also carry salmonella.’
- ‘A similar story can be told for several other species of toads, frogs, salamanders, alligators, and turtles around the world.’
- ‘The reason for avoiding consumption of the rest of the body is unclear, but may be related to poisonous excretions from the skin of frogs.’
- ‘These amphibians, like modern frogs and salamanders, hatched from eggs and spent their larval period in the water as tadpoles.’
- ‘The salmon had also been observed feeding on frogs and newts.’
- ‘Around 5,000 amphibian species, including frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders are thought to exist today.’
- ‘Ice crystals start forming on the frog's skin and quickly work their way inside.’
- ‘The recent warm but wet weather has caused a mass migration of frogs, newts and toads to the Barnes Wetland Centre.’
- ‘Some amphibians we know today include frogs, toads, newts and salamanders.’
2derogatory, informal A French person.
Hunt for or catch frogs.
have a frog in one's throat
informal Lose one's voice or find it hard to speak because of hoarseness.
- ‘Gene is caught sucking on a lemon because he has a frog in his throat.’
- ‘When I left Freetown on the helicopter on the first leg of my trip home I had a frog in my throat.’
- ‘Mahinda is waiting for the auspicious time to speak about his vision, not that he has a frog in his throat.’
- ‘Unfortunatley, she had a frog in her throat and couldn't hit the last note in Portland Oregon and chose not to do How Great Thou Art during her gospel medley, but that was okay.’
- ‘After that, I had a frog in my throat.’
- ‘I remember asking her what was wrong with her voice, and hearing her say that she had a frog in her throat because she was sad.’
- ‘He writes in his diary that ‘I've lost my voice and have a frog in my throat.’’
- ‘I have always had a frog in my throat but now I have a feeling like something is stuck in my throat.’
- ‘And so, this morning I awoke not knowing that I had a frog in my throat.’
- ‘It sounded as though she had a frog in her throat.’
Old English frogga, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vors and German Frosch. Used as a general term of abuse in Middle English, the term was applied specifically to the Dutch in the 17th century; its application to the French (late 18th century) is partly alliterative, partly from the reputation of the French for eating frogs' legs.
1An ornamental coat fastener or braid consisting of a spindle-shaped button and a loop through which it passes.
- ‘The costume was a very nice military top, green material with a frog or braid across the front, black wool tights with a red decoration on the side, and nice character shoes.’
- ‘It was held closed by four large, golden frogs, down the front of the robe.’
- ‘I know the braided loop on a traditional Asian costume is a frog.’
- ‘I wasn't exotic and I never thought about wearing a little black linen pants and a shirt that closed with frogs instead of buttons.’
- 1.1historical An attachment to a belt for holding a sword, bayonet, or similar weapon.
2A perforated or spiked device for holding the stems of flowers in an arrangement.
- ‘Fill the cups with well-soaked floral foam or use a small metal florist's frog, if necessary, to hold the flowers in place.’
3The piece into which the hair is fitted at the lower end of the bow of a stringed instrument.
- ‘In Renaissance Europe the stick became straighter, and a wooden frog was wedged between stick and hair to hold them apart at the heel.’
- ‘Franchomme had a Stradivari cello but held the bow above the frog, making for flexibility and subtlety of tone rather than robustness.’
4A grooved metal plate for guiding the wheels of a railroad vehicle at an intersection.
- ‘If you stand close by the crossing, you can feel the ground shake as the wheels bang over the frogs.’
Early 18th century: perhaps a use of frog, influenced by synonymous Italian forchetta or French fourchette ‘small fork’, because of the shape.
1An elastic horny pad growing in the sole of a horse's hoof, helping to absorb the shock when the hoof hits the ground.
- ‘‘The horse scraped the frog of his left hoof in the backstretch and lost his drive,’ Nakatani said.’
- ‘The ground surface of the foot, that is the sole, bars and frog, are not touched.’
- ‘Duckett feels that there should be shortening of the distance from the point of the frog to the toe.’
- ‘Moreover, it is felt by many that by leaving the frog intact, the proper width between the heels will be maintained.’
- ‘Had a fang hit the hoof's frog instead of the hoof, it might have been another story.’
- ‘‘She has flat feet and her frogs have gotten beat up in the past, but her feet have been good lately,’ Hills said.’
- 1.1 A raised or swollen area on a surface.‘a bulge or frog is formed on the front of the blade’
Early 17th century: perhaps from frog; perhaps also influenced by Italian forchetta or French fourchette (see frog).
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