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1 Sep. Can a human really have “a frog in their throat?”

This English idiom can sound extremely amusing and even frightening to those who don’t understand the meaning. Don’t worry if you don’t as this article will provide you with all the information you need regarding the meaning and origin of the phrase.


The expression is used to describe the sound of someone’s voice when they have something stuck in their throat and thus their voice sounds rather hoarse. When a person “has a frog in their throat” they will often feel the need to constantly try to clear their throat.


This expression originated in America towards the end of the 19th century. The first recorded usage dates to the year 1847 in an instructive book written by Harvey Newcomb called How To Be A Man. In this book he advises “now let me beg of you to learn to say NO. If you find a ‘frog in your throat,’ which obstructs your utterance, go by yourself, and practise saying no, no, NO!”

The reason behind the use of this expression is simple. It is due to the fact that when a person has something stuck in their throat they literally make a sound similar to that of the croaking of a frog.


An example of the use of this expression can be found in a memorable quote from the television series Smallville. This takes place in a conversation between Clark and Lois when Clark simply asks Lois “how’d you get that frog in your throat?”

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