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A problematic situation that will gradually increase in severity until it reaches calamitous proportions, such that the people involved or affected by it will not notice the danger until it is too late to act. It is a metaphor taken from an anecdotal parable about boiling a frog, in which a frog placed in boiling water will immediately try to save itself, but one placed in cool water that is gradually brought to a boil will not notice the heat until it is boiled to death. Drug addiction is often a boiling frog, as many people don't see their addiction as problematic until it has consumed their lives.
boiling frog syndrome
The failure to accept, acknowledge, or act against a problematic situation that will gradually increase in severity until it reaches calamitous proportions. It is a metaphor taken from an anecdotal parable about boiling a frog, in which a frog placed in boiling water will immediately try to save itself, but one placed in cool water that is gradually brought to a boil will not notice the heat until it is boiled to death. Many environmentalists accuse naysayers of having boiling frog syndrome, not accepting that damage is being done until the earth is polluted beyond repair.
a small frog in a big pond
Someone or something within a larger operation or organization who is of less importance or less qualified than those around him, her, or it. This thankless IT support job is really getting old. Ever since I started here, I've just been a small frog in a big pond.
a (real) frog-choker
A particularly heavy or torrential downpour of rain. (Chiefly heard in the southern United States.) It's a real frog-choker out there today—looks like we'll have to have our barbecue another day. There's no way I'm biking to work in a frog-choker like this!
a (real) frog-strangler
A particularly heavy or torrential downpour of rain. (Chiefly heard in the southern United States.) It's a real frog-strangler out there today—looks like we'll have to have our barbecue another day. There's no way I'm biking to work in a frog-strangler like this!
a frog in (one's) throat
The feeling that something is caught or stuck in one's throat. Could refer to actual hoarseness or the inability to speak due to fear. This cold has left me with such a frog in my throat that I can barely talk! A: "Elise couldn't say a word in the meeting and looked completely terrified." B: "Man, she must have had a frog in her throat."
frog in (one's) throat
Difficulty talking because of the need to cough or clear one's throat. It's taking a long time to get over this cold. I'm tired of feeling like I have a frog in my throat every time I try to talk.
big frog in a small pond
an important person in the midst of less important people. (Alludes to a large frog that dominates a small pond with few challengers.) I'd rather be a big frog in a small pond than the opposite. The trouble with Tom is that he's a big frog in a small pond. He needs more competition.
biggest frog in the puddleand biggest toad in the puddle
Prov. The most important or powerful person in some small, unimportant group. Jill: Elaine seems to be obsessed with becoming class president. Jane: Yes, she really wants to be the biggest frog in the puddle. The people in my office don't care about doing their work; mostly they compete over who will be the biggest toad in the puddle.
*a frog in one's throat
Fig. a feeling of hoarseness or a lump in one's throat. (Often regarded as a sign of fear. *Typically: get ~; have ~.) I feel like I'm getting a frog in my throat when I have to speak in public. She says she gets a frog in her throat when she is nervous.
If frogs had wheels, they wouldn't bump their butts,and If a toady frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass.
Rur. It is useless to wish for impossible things. (Use caution with ass.) Tom: If I had two hundred thousand dollars, I could buy that farm. Jane: Yeah, and if frogs had wheels, they wouldn't bump their butts. Charlie: If I were rich and famous, I'd make people listen to me. Bill: If a toady frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass.
know no more about something than a frog knows about bedsheets
Rur. to have no knowledge of something. Don't let Bill fix your car. He knows no more about cars than a frog knows about bedsheets. When I first started studying French literature, I knew no more about it than a frog knows about bedsheets.
like herding frogs
Rur. chaotic; disorderly. (On the image of trying to direct frogs, which will jump any which way.) Trying to get those kids to march into the auditorium is like herding frogs. Trying to get everybody to cooperate is like herding frogs.
have a frog in your throat(informal)
to be unable to speak clearly until you give a slight cough Excuse me, I've got a bit of a frog in my throat.
big fish in a small pond
Also, big frog in a little pond. A person who is important in a limited arena; someone overqualified for a position or in relation to colleagues. For example, Steve has both a Ph.D. and an M.D., yet he's content with his practice at a rural hospital; he prefers to be a big fish in a little pond . The expression big fish has been slang for an important or influential person since the early 1800s. The addition of in a small pond as a metaphor for an unimportant organization is more recent, as is the substitution of frog. Another variant is the proverb Better a big fish in a little puddle than a little fish in a big puddle.
frog in one's throat
Hoarseness or phlegm in the throat, as in Can you understand me? I've got a frog in my throat. This expression probably owes its origin to the froglike croaks produced by a person with a sore throat. [c. 1900]
frog in a small pond
see under big fish in a small pond.
little frog in a big pond
Also, small frog in a large pond. An unimportant or unqualified individual in a large organization or other setting. For example, Coming from a small school, Sandy felt lost at the state university-a little frog in a big pond . This phrase is the counterpart of big fish in a small pond.
finer than frog hair
n. fine; good. (Pseudo folksy. Note the interpretation of fine.) This chair is just fine...finer than frog hair in fact.
n. a nerd; a geek. (Especially as a rude term of address.) Look here, frog face, what makes you think you can talk to me that way?
n. biology class; a biology course. (A dysphemism.) Dave dreaded going to frog slicing. The smell got to him.