Archived French Frog Stories

The original webpage which contained this information appears to have dissapeared from the web.
The the original website once resided at:
It was hosted by Cécile Charron.
Thank goodness for the web archive, where I was able to find a copy of it as it appeared a few years back here.

I am archiving the relevant contents of the page for you to view here.
The original contents were a mix of French and English. I am placing them here with a translation of sorts for those who do not read french.

Rough Translation Original French
Did you know that French people everywhere in the world are named frogs? It's true! You must have heard it, of course; frogs. And if you put yourselves this question, I also am called a frog. It is not an insult, actually, it is a compliment. I always wanted to know why and where this whole thing began, which encouraged me to telephone the Center franco-ontarien of folklore of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. They were very nice and gave me some anecdotes on this subject. Aviez-vous que les francophones partout dans le monde sont nommés des grenouilles ? Et oui ! Vous avez bien entendu ; des grenouilles. Et si vous vous posez cette question, moi aussi je me fais appeller une grenouille. Ce n'est pas une insulte, en réalité, c'est un compliment. J'ai toujours voulu savoir pourquoi et où cette histoire a débuté, ce qui m'a incité à téléphoner le Centre franco-ontarien de folklore de Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Ils ont été très gentils et m'ont donné quelques anecdotes à ce sujet.
In World War II, the Frenchmen (France) were fighting alongside the Englishmen (England) and when the time to eat came along the French people would eat frog legs. Well as you can imagine it was not really the English soldiers' way of having a meal and hence started calling them French Frogs. Pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale, les Français (France) combattaient aux côtés des Anglais (Angleterre) et quand le temps de prendre les repas était arrivé, les Français mangeaient des cuisses de grenouilles. Et bien comme vous pouvez vous l'imaginer, ce n'était pas la sorte de repas que les anglais mangaient. Les Anglais ont donc commencés à nommer les Français les grenouilles.
In World War II, the French soldiers were pretty good at hiding from the German soldiers with all their camouflage they evidently looked like frogs. When the German soldiers tried to find them they said "Darn those Frenchmen, we can't find them anywhere." Again that is where the term French Frogs came from. Pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale, les soldats français savaient comment bien se cacher des soldats allemands. Avec tout leurs camouflages, ils ressemblaient évidamment à des grenouilles. Quand les soldats allemands essayaient de les trouver ils disaient : "Ces soldats français, on ne peut les trouver nulle part." Encore une fois, d'où le surnom de grenouille est apparu.
According to a history book called "Holy Blood Holy Grail" the earliest Frankish kings (Clovis I) used both bees and frogs on their royal robes. Both have been found in royal gravesites of Clovis and sons in France. The reference seems to be to the royal line of Frankish kings as frogs. They were the Long Haired Kings who ruled in Gaul/France/Germany before the Christianization of Charles.

Sent by Larry Bjarnsason

According to the person who sent me this, the English nickname for the French has nothing to do with their fondness for frogs legs, oddly enough the term was coined by the French nobility as a disparaging monicker for the inhabitants of Paris. The land surrounding Paris ws notoriously swampy and the 18th century kings and courtiers of Versailles habitually referred to the Parisians as LES GRENOUILLES. Foreign diplomats picked it up and gradually became used to describe the French in general.

Sent by Lee

One doesn't need to seek far to find the origin of the Grenouille term that the English like so much (with a nuance more or less of contempt) to call the French. It comes from the large queen Elizabeth I of England which adored frogs and was accustomed to affectionately calling her close friends by that name. Thus, her young and handsome ambassador of France, with whom she had fallen passionately in love when she was young, she referred to as her "Dearest Frog". This is even said in the English history books of England. Il ne faut pas chercher midi à quatorze heures pour trouver l'origine du terme Grenouille que les Anglais aiment tant (avec une nuance plus ou moins de mépris) affubler les Français. Il vient de la grande reine Élizabeth I d'Angleterre qui adorait les animaux et avait l'habitude de baptiser affectueusement ses intimes du nom d'un de ses animaux préférés. Ainsi, son jeune et bel ambassadeur de France, dont elle était tombée éperdument amoureuse plus jeune, elle l'appelait son "Dearest Frog". Ce fait est attesté dans les livres (anglais) d'histoire d'Angleterre.

André Phaneuf

According to my husband, there is a story by Pushkin who refers to the French as frogs because when they say "quai, quai" it sounds like a croaking frog.

Lucy Luxenburg

According to some legends, it is known as that at the time of the baptism of Clovis, king of the Francs, by St-Remi, the frogs on the flag changed into Fleur-de-Lis. It became the emblem of French royalty. It is also reported that certain features of frogs are found in the personalities of the French, that is to say the speciality to be able to be burried, without air, for very long periods and then to be able to live again when released. Selon quelques légendes, il est dit que, lors du baptême de Clovis, roi des Francs, par St-Rémi, les grenouilles sur le drapeau se changèrent en Fleurs-de-lys. Ce qui devint l'emblème de la royauté française. Il est aussi rapporté que certains traits particuliers de la grenouille se retrouvent dans le caractères des français, soit la spécialité de pouvoir être emmurée, sans air, pendant de très longues périodes et pouvoir revivre lorsqu'elle est libérée.

Soumis par Robert Charron/Ducharme

I was told that it was due to the Fleur de Lys, our national emblem which is also that of the French royal family. In some stylized forms, it can resemble a stylized frog. On m'a déjà raconté que c'était dû à la Fleur de Lys, notre emblème qui est aussi celui de la famille royale française. En effet lorsque qu'elle est stylisée, cela pourrait ressembler à une grenouille stylisée.

Soumis par Jean-Denis Leclerc

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