Amplexus: aka Fornicating Frogs

“When I use a word, it means exactly what I want it to mean. Nothing more. Nothing less.” Humpty Dumpty says this to Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. I love languages. I love finding true words: one word, one meaning, and nothing else. Somebody called me a logomachist once. I had to look it up. What can I say though? I’m a writer. I love words.

Amplexus is the word that means fornicating frogs. Or, more specifically: the mating embrace of a frog or toad during which eggs are shed into the water and there fertilized (from www.m-w.com). Why (or rather how) do I know this rather interesting word? One day I was wine tasting in Healdsburg and I went to the Toad Hollow tasting room. Amplexus is the name of one of their wines. Have you ever seen fornicating frogs? Why would you name a wine after fornicating frogs? I guess there’s a market for everything.

The other day, I went for my usual walk along to the gate. I saw a frog dead-splat in the middle of the road. Its mouth was open and its tongue was sticking out as if it had been an open tube of toothpaste that you’d accidently stepped on. I almost took a picture because it looked so odd, but I thought I would leave the frog its dignity. Poor thing.

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