Frog
Posted: 31 July 2009 11:03 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Is there any connection between the “frog” in a horse’s hoof (and hence in a set of railway points) and the amphibian?

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Posted: 01 August 2009 05:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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AHD4 lumps them together along with the ornamental, looped braid, the loop fastened to a belt to hold a tool or weapon, the device on intersecting railroad tracks that permits wheels to cross the junction, and the spiked or perforated device used to support stems in a flower arrangement all under the same entry with just the one etymology.

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Posted: 01 August 2009 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The OED2 has separate entries with different etymologies for all of these.

Frog1: the amphibian, from the Old English frogga

Frog2: elastic, horny substance growing in a horse’s hoof, unknown origin, perhaps a folk etymology of the Italian name for it, forchetta, or of the French fourchette

Frog3: the ornamental, looped fastener for a sword or other device, unknown origin, perhaps from the Portuguese froco

Frog4: the railroad device, no etymology given

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Posted: 01 August 2009 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Dave Wilton - 01 August 2009 06:10 AM

The OED2 has separate entries with different etymologies for all of these.

Frog1: the amphibian, from the Old English frogga

Frog2: elastic, horny substance growing in a horse’s hoof, unknown origin, perhaps a folk etymology of the Italian name for it, forchetta, or of the French fourchette

Frog3: the ornamental, looped fastener for a sword or other device, unknown origin, perhaps from the Portuguese froco

Frog4: the railroad device, no etymology given

Is there no suggestion that Frog4 comes from Frog2?  I’m surprised.

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Posted: 02 August 2009 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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No etymology at all is given. It’s not even marked as “etym. unk.”

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