Tuesday, June 4, 2013

motion-detector frog

frog RJH bought me a motion-detector frog* (yes, you read that right) the other day, at the dollar store (yes, believe it or not there are a large number of motion-detector frogs there) to cheer me up. See, this is a pretty demented, simple, electronic product, and its existence and unexpected availabilty amuses me. I mean, who knew there was a demand for motion-detector frogs? He didn't seem very sensitive and at first did not ribbit until poked (the frog that is, not RJH). He was happily sitting, silently in my studio, until he decided that my every tiny move was cause to ribbit. So, I decided to place him outside to scare squirrels from my herb garden. Sadly, he's now responding to every tiny breeze and I think I had better go move him before he drives the neighbours mad.

*Not exactly as illustrated. That's a actual, real-live frog I photographed in NB. The motion detector frog is sort of like that, except more plastic, and prone to sporadically playing a recorded ribbit.**

**'Ribbit' is a Canadian word for the sound made by a frog, used also as a verb. I recall hearing a CBC radio interview with the OED who had recently decided to include it in its new editions. Apparently, outside of Canada, frogs just croak, which is weird if you've ever listened to the wide array of frog song. Strangely it was also the name of our high school mascot.


Katherine Koba said...

Frogs "ribbit" in America, too. Also, we call tadpoles "tadpoles" and not gollywogs, as Stephen Fry has just lead all of the United Kingdom to believe.

minouette said...

Apparently, frogs ribbiting is the Canadian influence - according to the OED, the word is Canadian in origine, which I wouldn't have imagined.

What a bizarre thing for Stephen Fry to do (unless it's an elaborate joke). I've only ever heard that word to mean something very different from a tadpole and not the sort of word unsuspecting Brits should use in the US.

Tom said...

Stephen Fry probably said "Pollywog", which is a tadpole, not "Gollywog" which is something else.

minouette said...

Ah! Good. That would make a bit more sense.