There's a frog on my bow.
July 11, 2009 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Why is the wooden block at the end of a violin bow called a "frog"?
posted by mendel to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The OED says that it is from the German Frosch meaning the same thing.
posted by grouse at 6:35 PM on July 11, 2009

Frogs also form part of a railroad track and floral arrangements
posted by buggzzee23 at 6:58 PM on July 11, 2009

Best answer:
The term 'frog' is almost certainly a corruption of 'frock', the German term used by luthiers for the small vice in which a frog is shaped and fashioned. Just as the vice gripped the ebony, ivory or whatever material the luthier was using at the time, so the 'frog' provides purchase, or grip, from the player.
A History of French Luthiers, Their Techniques and Traditions, Rene Sottises, 1968
posted by rokusan at 7:07 PM on July 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Frogs are also used to carry your bayonet on your belt: bayonet frogs

And on the hoofs of horses: frog (horse)

I always assumed it means something that acts to hold something wedged.
posted by furtive at 10:15 PM on July 11, 2009

Consistent with I always assumed it means something that acts to hold something wedged, a frog is also part of a woodworking hand plane: a sliding iron wedge that holds the plane iron at the proper angle. Violin bows are made by woodworkers, with hand planes (among other tools), so...
posted by jon1270 at 3:23 AM on July 12, 2009

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