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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The copulatory embrace of frogs and toads, during which the male fertilizes the eggs that are released by the female.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A genus of Paleozoic tetracorals of the family Zaphrentidæ, having simple subcylindrical coralla with shallow calice, well-marked septal fossula, and septa not reaching to the center.


Latin amplexus, an embracing, from past participle of amplectī, to embrace : am-, ambi-, around; see ambi- + plectere, to twine.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • Toads mate in a position called amplexus, in which the male mounts the female from behind and fertilises her eggs externally.

    Impact Lab

  • This story is apparently not made up, although I am not yet convinced that we are getting the straight story from the media – after all, the widely reported three-headed British frog of 2004 was, after vigorous discussion, decided to most likely merely be multiple amplexus, inexpertly observed, on one Evolution/Creationism forum see also “Three-headed frog – not!” for the apparently definitive analysis.

    The Panda's Thumb: Designoids Archives

  • Over thousands of years, people have rediscovered this approach, so it goes by various names: angelic dual cultivation, le jazer (cortezia), karezza, the reserved embrace (amplexus reservatus), and so forth.

    Marnia Robinson: Another Way To Make Love

  • Perhaps the most curious idea was that of certain medical writers in the middle ages: “Usus et amplexus pueri, bene temperatus, salutaris medicine” (Tardieu).

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • The frogs (plural) in your first photograph are just engaged in multiple amplexus.

    World’s Weirdest Animals And Creatures

  • Or maybe I just have amplexus on the brain. scatterbrain said

    PodCastle » PodCastle Miniature 22: The Kissing of Frogs

  • Osculi sensus, brachiorum amplexus, kissing and embracing are proper gifts of Nature to a man; but these are too lascivious kisses, [5116] Implicuitque suos circum meet colla lacertos,

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Cujus erat gratissimus amplexus (whose embrace was so agreeable) as Barnard saith, erit horribilis aspectus; Non redolet, sed olet, quae, redolere solet, As a posy she smells sweet, is most fresh and fair one day, but dried up, withered, and stinks another.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Here's a further example involving multiple amplexus of toads.

    Making the beast with three backs

  • Credit to the The Independent for, so far, being the only one to introduce a sceptical note, quoting John Wilkinson, a frog ecologist who - while, I suspect, hedging his bets - also mentioned the possibility of multiple amplexus (and spotted the problem of the colour difference).

    Making the beast with three backs


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  • When I heard the news of the UK's new coalition government, the first thing I thought of was this page. Thank you, bilby!

    May 12, 2010

  • – the mating embrace of a toad or a frog

    – or, as Chained Bear said with great powers of observation, one could use the term froggy-style

    January 18, 2009

  • If we do need an entry like that, chained_bear, I nominate you to do it.

    You're welcome.

    April 16, 2008

  • I love your citations mollusque, always spot on.

    p.s. I thought mammmalian vagina was an entry for mammalian penis. Unless ... no, no forget it *blush*.

    April 16, 2008

  • p.s. Do we need an entry for mammalian penis? That's such an interesting phrase, given the root of "mammal" and "mammary."

    April 16, 2008

  • Bilby, was that a sly reference to "boffin' "? Anyway, glad to be of service.

    April 16, 2008

  • I knew mollusque was the right boffin for the job.

    April 16, 2008

  • Thank you, mollusque. Now we're really cooking.

    So to speak.

    April 16, 2008

  • There's a Wordie entry for hen's teeth. Why shouldn't there be one for frog penises? As to whether they exist--depends on the definition of penis.

    Tailed frogs of the genus Ascaphus have a tail-like structure that serves as an intromittent organ (see copulexus). The structure has been called a false penis or an evolutionary forerunner of the penis. Although not homologous to the mammalian penis, an anatomical description of the "tail" indicates that it has spongiose tissue capable of filling with blood and has a hole at the tip. Sound like a penis to me.

    Ascaphus is not the only kind of frog with internal fertilization. A few other, such as Eleutherodactylus press the cloacal openings together to transfer sperm to the female.

    April 16, 2008

  • Oy.

    April 16, 2008

  • Amphibious eunuchs of the world's ponds, unite.

    April 16, 2008

  • Mollusque, in reading over this highly entertaining page yet again, I noticed that your comment actually reads "almost all frogs and toads lack penises" (emphasis mine). Now... could you elaborate on that? Should there, in fact, be an entry on Wordie for frog penises?

    April 16, 2008

  • This way we could, without caution, safely leap into bed with anyone then?

    April 16, 2008

  • Froggy-style could be the new safe sex...

    April 16, 2008

  • I think if we have a "most bizarre page" contest for 2008, that this one should be nominated. I tagged it already.

    You're welcome.

    April 16, 2008

  • Nobody is listing frog penises. Now we know why that is. But one can imagine the rare, but distressing, condition known as batrachian baculum envy.

    Which raises a question best left dormant. Just how did Kermit and Miss Piggy ...

    Oh, never mind!

    April 16, 2008

  • I love Wordie.

    April 15, 2008

  • Ah. I see. Thanks for that, mollusque. Learn something every day. Just don't always expect it to be about frog penises or the lack thereof.

    Well, I'll still be thinking "froggy-style" whenever I hear amplexus, if that's all right with y'all.

    April 15, 2008

  • *snort*

    April 15, 2008

  • Sounds like coalition governments.

    April 15, 2008

  • Because almost all frogs and toads lack penises. They embrace, but do not have penetration or internal fertilization.

    April 15, 2008

  • Uh... why does this position need a name other than froggy-style?

    April 15, 2008

  • the mating position of frogs and toads

    April 14, 2008