Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[pol-ee-wog] /ˈpɒl iˌwɒg/


or pollywog

[pol-ee-wog] /ˈpɒl iˌwɒg/
a tadpole.
Origin of polliwog
late Middle English
1400-50; variant of polliwig, earlier polwigge, late Middle English polwygle. See poll1, wiggle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for pollywog
Historical Examples
  • You look like the bullfrog on the bank and the pollywog in the pool.

  • Under the microscope they show a sort of head and tail like a pollywog.

    The Sex Side of Life Mary Dennett
  • I'm a worm, a maggot, brother to the pollywog an' child of the blow-fly.

    Smoke Bellew Jack London
  • He caught a pollywog for bait, with which he waded to a deep, cool place under a shady bank.

    Wood Folk at School William J. Long
  • It will be seen that one looks like a mouse, whilst the other resembles a pollywog, or a newly-hatched dragon.

    The Art of Amusing Frank Bellew
  • "Why, grow a new tail like that pollywog," replied Peter, and told Jerry all that he had seen.

    The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad Thornton W. Burgess
  • Peter looked, and sure enough there was a pollywog with a pair of legs sprouting out.

    The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad Thornton W. Burgess
  • The old bachelor don't die at all—he sort of rots away, like a pollywog's tail.

    The Complete Works of Artemus Ward Charles Farrar Browne (AKA Artemus Ward)
  • Hee-poof—I've swallowed a pollywog, Mr. Beebe, water's wonderful, water's simply ripping.

    A Room With A View E. M. Forster
  • A native child or pollywog as the Terrans called them was clinging desperately to the teacher's skirt.

British Dictionary definitions for pollywog


(Brit, dialect, US & Canadian) another name for tadpole
(informal) a sailor who has not crossed the equator Compare shellback
Word Origin
C15 polwygle; see poll, wiggle
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pollywog



"tadpole," mid-15c., polwygle, probably from pol "head" (see poll (n.)) + wiglen "to wiggle" (see wiggle (v.)). Modern spelling is 1830s, replacing earlier polwigge.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pollywog

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pollywog

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pollywog