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Under the frog’s bum

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Despite speaking almost perfect English after having lived in the UK for 30 years, my mum confused me one day by uttering, “That’s really under the frog’s bum”. I inferred from the context of our conversation that she must mean this to be a bad thing - after all, it doesn’t sound like too pleasant a place to be. It was in fact a direct translation of the Hungarian saying a béka feneke alatt, meaning ‘in a very bad way’, often financially. There is an equally unpleasant idiom in English, referring to frogs: ‘to have a frog in your throat’, meaning to be temporarily hoarse. Then there is the Spanish por un pelito de rana for ‘it was a close shave’, literally ‘by a little hair of the frog’. Poor frogs, they do get a bad press. I hope for their sake there are sayings involving them with a bit more of a positive connotation.