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Balmafula
April 10th, 2008, 08:13 PM
I couldn't help observing that Brian Jacques tends to use toads/frogs in a lot of his books. And I don't mean the actual animals, but he has characters mention them an awful lot. Its either they're telling funny stories about frogs, talking about them as a way to make insults, as similes.... I mean, I can't be the only one who doesn't notice the numerous frog references. And most of the time when its used in similies, it doesn't even necessarily make sense. I'm reading Triss right now, for instance, and in one chapter, Plugg says, "She'll spend the whole night goin' up an' down like a toad in a bucket." Why a toad, BJ? Why is it ALWAYS a frog/toad? I don't understand. I'm sure I could find a lot more if I looked, too. I think its just weird.

redwallfan91
April 10th, 2008, 08:40 PM
I couldn't help observing that Brian Jacques tends to use toads/frogs in a lot of his books. And I don't mean the actual animals, but he has characters mention them an awful lot. Its either they're telling funny stories about frogs, talking about them as a way to make insults, as similes.... I mean, I can't be the only one who doesn't notice the numerous frog references. And most of the time when its used in similies, it doesn't even necessarily make sense. I'm reading Triss right now, for instance, and in one chapter, Plugg says, "She'll spend the whole night goin' up an' down like a toad in a bucket." Why a toad, BJ? Why is it ALWAYS a frog/toad? I don't understand. I'm sure I could find a lot more if I looked, too. I think its just weird.

Expressions like the one you mentioned, Balmafula, are common in a lot of British literature I've read. Using frogs, toads like that, or even ducks such as when Tam hears Doogy singing and mentions that. (Don't have the book here or I'd get the exact quote, just look up the Beetle Maid song and you'll find it.) It's not Brian coming up with it himself, not like the kind of example you mentioned.

LordTBT
April 10th, 2008, 08:42 PM
This may explain the origins of the expression.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Toad

Balmafula
April 10th, 2008, 11:17 PM
Oh! I didn't know that before. Thanks a lot, TBT. Also I didn't know about the frog thing being a Brit thing. Very interesting...

Tsarmina 07
April 11th, 2008, 09:05 PM
I think toads and frogs are often seen as ugly and unpleasant creatures, so people use them in metaphors to show dislike of someone.

My grandfather has a toad expression- he calls a person who has eaten too much a "stuffed toad."

Then there's the expression that a person "has to kiss a lot of frogs" before they find the right person for them, although in the fairy tale that comes from, there is only one frog and the princess doesn't kiss him until he's already turned into a prince.