Article published in:The Power of Satire
Edited by Marijke Meijer Drees and Sonja de Leeuw
[Topics in Humor Research 2] 2015
► pp. 247–258
Who are the Frogs? The Transmigration of a Symbol of Nationality
This chapter is concerned to show that satirical national symbols, though seemingly immutable, like the English characterization of the French as frogs, in fact have a specific history. It involves the transmutation of the symbol from the Dutch, to whom it was first applied, to the French under specific conditions to do with the French Revolution. In fact the French were in English eyes until the end of the 18th century frog-eaters, clearly distinguished from being frogs until the aftermath of the Revolution. The transition from frog-eaters to frogs is explained by reference to Aesop’s Fables.
Published online: 22 October 2015
1712 The History of John Bull. London. See: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/ 2643/2643-h/2643-h.htm DOI: