Frogs and Myth

Lots of different cultures have all kinds of interesting myths pertaining to Frogs.

Frogs and Weather

Frogs have been associated with weather in a lot of ancient cultures. I guess this really makes a lot of sense if you consider that they tend to make a lot of noise before rain storms.

  • Some Australian aborigines and Native American groups believed that frogs were the bringers of rain.
  • In India, frogs were believed to personify thunder in the sky. Even the word for "frog" also meant "cloud" in Sanskrit!
  • In China, they see the "TOAD", not the "man" of the moon. The toad is also considered "one of the five poisons of yin." They say that eclipses happen when the "toad in the moon" tries to swallow the moon itself!
Frogs and Luck

Sometimes, cultures associated frogs with good and bad fortune.

  • In Japan, frogs are the symbols of Good Luck. One myth I read dealt with the idea that bullfrogs are descended from a great ancestor who could suck all the mosquitoes out of a whole room in a single breath!
  • Some myths are less favoring to frogs and toads. Some folklorists* have claimed that "If the first frog that you see in the spring is sitting on dry ground, it signifies that during the same year you will shed as many tears as the frog would require to swim away in." If, on the other hand, the first frog of spring jumps into the water, you'll experience misfortune all year! However, if the springs' first "hoptoad" come jumping in your direction, you will have many friends; if it jumps away from you, you will lose some.
    (sounds to me like it's best not to run into the first spring frog!)
  • Some less enlightened people associate frogs, and Toads in particular, as evil incarnations of demons or devils!
*I read this in my cool book called Frogs. It says that folklorists Cora Daniels and C.M. Stevans wrote this nearly 100 years ago! Check out this and other neat books in my Recommended Reading list.
Frogs and Warts

Some say that you get warts from touching frogs and toads.

  • You get warts from human viruses, not from frogs and toads!
    Frogs have slimy skin to stay moist when it is dry, and toads have bumpy skin to help camouflage them in their habitat. Some frogs and toads have paratoidal glands which secrete poisons as protection which can cause skin irritations and may be poisonous to some species of animals, but warts have nothing at all to do with the frogs themselves!
The French and the Frogs

For some reason, the French have been given the nickname Frogs...There are many different theories about how this came to be...

  • The story I had always heard was that the nickname dates waaay back to sometime around the 18th century, when Paris was surrounded by many swamps...The French nobility that would visit Versailles apparently tended to refer to Parisians as frogs because of the swampy surroundings...and only later did the term get picked up to describe the French in general.
  • Another story I've heard was that American soldiers adopted the nickname for the French during the World War II because they ate frog legs and hid well when camouflaged.
  • I've also heard that a frog used to be on the French Flag, before the Fleurs de Lis was adopted when King Clovis took the throne....
  • In fact, there are so many stories....I don't think anyone really knows for sure...If you have any knowledge on the origin of this nickname, please let me know!
If you'd like to hear some other theories on why the French are called frogs, check out French Frog Stories
Frogs, Toads and Phobias

    Batrachophobia- Fear of amphibians, such as frogs, newts, salamanders, etc.
    Ranidaphobia- Fear of frogs.
    Bufonophobia- Fear of toads.
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