Frog Strangler Meaning
Definition: A storm with torrential rain.
Origin of Frog Strangler
This expression comes from the idea that some storms are rainy enough to actually drown frogs. Because frogs are amphibians, and spend much of their lives in water, some people might assume that it is impossible for frogs to drown. However, this is not the case.
Frogs have lungs, and use them to breathe when on land. Additionally, frogs can get oxygen through their skin. They can take in oxygen while underwater.
Despite this ability, it is still possible for frogs to drown. This can happen if the water does not contain enough oxygen, or if too much water enters frogs’ lungs. Therefore, the premise behind this idiom does make sense.
Other similar expressions include toad strangler, duck drowner, gully washer, and cob floater.
This idiom comes from the southern United States and is more common in rural areas. The approximate time when this idiom originated is unclear.
Examples of Frog Strangler
This example dialogue involves a husband and wife that are on vacation in Texas.
Jennie: Bobby, you’re dad just told me that there is going to be a frog strangler tonight. I hope this is some southern slang and not a serial killer.
Bobby: You’re in luck! It’s southern slang for a storm with a lot of rain. Dad just wanted to warn you that we’ll have some bad weather tonight. Since we live near the river, there’s the possibility of flooding, so we just have to be prepared.
Jennie: Oh, okay. That makes sense. I just feel bad that I gave him such a strange look. I had never heard that expression before.
Bobby: It’s not that common in New York, where we live.
Two friends are out at a bar whether they should walk home or call a cab.
Andrew: Let’s head home. It’s getting late. It’s nice out so we can just walk.
Aaron: It’s nice out now, but the weather app on my phone is warning me that there’ll be a frog strangler tonight. If we don’t want to get totally drenched we should just take a taxi.
This excerpt is about words and expressions that are in danger of dying out, or in other words, vanishing from the English language.
- But a word needs to be used to live. So DARE has teamed up with Acast, a podcast platform, creating a list of 50 endangered American regionalisms, and trying to get Acast’s podcasters to use them. Who can resist “to be on one’s beanwater”—meaning “in high spirits”? And isn’t “downpour” a bit workaday for heavy rain, when you could be calling it a “frog strangler”? No one wants to see English submit to boring homogenisation; using a few of these lexical rarities might offer some respair. –The Economist
The second excerpt is about storms that are causing flooding to occur.
- Water was still standing in the yards and driveways of the homes of permanent residents, vacation rentals and businesses from that storm and several others that passed through over the next few days, when another “frog-strangler” formed early July 16. –Coastal Review Online
The expression frog strangler is an expression that means a large amount of rain.