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271311.  Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:35 am Reply with quote

I'm still trying to work out the origin of 'frogging' as applied to braid fastenings. One interesting snippet I found was this:

v. to unravel a knitted garment. Also frog stitch v., to intentionally rip out a seam, and n., an intentionally ripped seam. Subjects: English, Apparel, Appearance, & Fashion
Etymological Note: While it is possible that, as frequently stated, frog does come from the admonishment of “rip it, rip it” that might be given when seams are imperfect, which is similar to an imitation of a croaking frog, it is also possible that an unraveled or undone garment has loops of thread or yarn resembling frogging, which is a looped ornamental braid, or coat fastenings made of cylindrical buttons that go into fabric loops.

271313.  Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:37 am Reply with quote reminds us of the range of things to which 'frog' is applied:

frog (frôg, frg)
1. Any of numerous tailless, aquatic, semiaquatic, or terrestrial amphibians of the order Anura and especially of the family Ranidae, characteristically having a smooth moist skin, webbed feet, and long hind legs adapted for leaping.
2. A wedge-shaped, horny prominence in the sole of a horse's hoof.
3. A loop fastened to a belt to hold a tool or weapon.
4. An ornamental looped braid or cord with a button or knot for fastening the front of a garment.
5. A device on intersecting railroad tracks that permits wheels to cross the junction.
6. A spiked or perforated device used to support stems in a flower arrangement.
7. The nut of a violin bow.
8. Informal Hoarseness or phlegm in the throat.
9. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a French person.
[Middle English frogge, from Old English frogga.]

271319.  Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:41 am Reply with quote

It's interesting that these different uses seem to come from different original words, when you look into them. The 'frogging' for braid seems to connect with a loop used to hold a knife or sword, but the origin suggested seems a bit of a stretch to me - what do you think, suze? I'd forgotten about 'frog' as a bit of a horse's hoof until I read it here. Unabridged (v 1.1)
frog2 /frɒg, frɔg/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[frog, frawg]
1. an ornamental fastening for the front of a coat, consisting of a button and a loop through which it passes.
2. a sheath suspended from a belt and supporting a scabbard.
[Origin: 1710–20; perh. < Pg froco < L floccus flock2] Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006. Unabridged (v 1.1) -
frog3 /frɒg, frɔg/ Pronunciation[frog, frawg] Pronunciation Key
Railroads. a device at the intersection of two tracks to permit the wheels and flanges on one track to cross or branch from the other.
[Origin: 1840–50, Americanism; of uncert. orig.] Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006. Unabridged (v 1.1) -
frog4 /frɒg, frɔg/ Pronunciation[frog, frawg] Pronunciation Key
–noun Zoology.
a triangular mass of elastic, horny substance in the middle of the sole of the foot of a horse or related animal.
[Origin: 1600–10; cf. earlier frush in same sense (prob. < F fourchette fourchette); presumably identified with dial. frosh frog, hence with frog1]

271337.  Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:08 am Reply with quote

Jenny, I agree that it sounds a bit unlikely, and requires a rather odd consonant shift to have occurred. The OED goes with the same etymology though, but precedes it with "of obscure origin, perhaps ...". I think "etymology unknown" is perhaps a safer bet for this one, sadly.

While looking up "frog" in the OED, I discovered another meaning of the word - the hollow bit in the face of a brick is apparently called a frog.

271369.  Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:46 am Reply with quote

I wonder if the 'frog' in a brick is related somehow to the frog in the sole of a horse's hoof.

271383.  Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:58 am Reply with quote

Ooh, good thought Jenny - the OED hasn't thought of that, but it makes rather a lot of sense!

273714.  Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:22 pm Reply with quote

Post 273101 from brainstrustkid again has some good stuff on the year of the frog and on amphibian extinction rates.

284486.  Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:13 am Reply with quote

Here is a picture of a frog-caller:

It’s not quite what I was looking for; this one appears to be a musical instrument. In an item about auctions in the Western Daily Press (3 Nov 07) a rather nicer one was illustrated, which was said to be ...

“ ... a funny little device [which] has a cogged wheel at one end which, when revolved, creates a sound just like a frog. Perhaps no one should be surprised that the device was both created and produced in France - to lure the little critters into a net.”

Estimated value, £15-£20.

285240.  Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:57 am Reply with quote

Sorry for arriving late into this. Going back to Flashies' original question puts me in mind of the case of Paul Kammerer. Although he was dealing with Toads, he could provide a link to both Frauds and Fucking. Most Toads mate in water. Midwife Toads mate on land. Kammerer purported to show that after making generations of Midwife Toads live (and fuck) under water, they generated pads on their backs that allowed them to cling onto each other during the sexual act. This would have been evidence of Lamarckian evolution (acquired characteristics being passed to offspring) and would have upset the scientific world. No-one could reproduce his experiments because no-one else could get Midwife toads to mate in captivity. It was later shown that he had injected his toads with black ink and was a fraud. He commited suicide.

Reference Arthur Koestler's book The Case of the Midwife Toad.

285272.  Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:15 pm Reply with quote

Very good. It's a curious thing that someone can be so wedded to an idea that they will fake the evidence to support it, but it has happened quite frequently: Dr Hwang Woo-suk is a recent example.

285291.  Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:16 pm Reply with quote

I don't think it's curious; it's called politics.

Hwang Woo-suk was probably motivated by some asian 'loss of face' thing when he realised his research wasn't getting anywhere.

There are other good 'Fake' lines though. Piltdown Man - no-one knows who did it (probably the discoverer whose name I forget, but Arthur Conan-Doyle is also in the frame. He was also a supporter of the Cottingley Fairies fraud). Also Archaeopteryx (F for Fossil) was called into question by the great Astronomer Fred Hoyle (Originator of the term "Big Bang Theory" - annoyingly for him as he didn't believe in it!). Even though his claim has been scientifically refuted, people still often refer to it as fake. Hitler Diaries, Turin Shroud, Cerne Abbas Giant, Crop Circles, Cold Fusion, Lemmings, Inheritance of IQ and the recent 'discovery' of superheavy metal elements are all great stories.

285442.  Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:01 pm Reply with quote

Lemmings are fake?

I guess you mean that film of them jumping off cliffs was faked. But if it's more than that, let's hear it.

285561.  Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:18 am Reply with quote

Everyone knows lemmings are fake. If you ever see one, you're actually seeing a naked mole rat that the Disney corporation has dressed up in a fur coat to make it look more appealing.

285610.  Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:40 am Reply with quote

Who was the right-wing sociologist who faked his figures on IQ being partially determined by (was it race or class?) and whose work formed the foundation of public policy in much of the capitalist world in the first half of the First Cold War? (I did him for O Level, if that’s any help ...)

285661.  Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:54 am Reply with quote

Cyril Burt of UCL springs to mind


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