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polliwog also pollywog (POL-ee-wog) noun

The limbless aquatic larva of a frog or toad, having gills and a long flat tail. As the polliwog approaches the adult stage, legs and lungs develop, and the tail gradually disappears. Also called tadpole.

[Variant of polliwig, from Middle English polwigle : pol, head + wiglen, to wiggle.]

"Some of my own metamorphosis, like the pollywogs', is obvious. Just as the polliwog loses its tail, I've been losing my hair. And my overall appearance has been changing in other ways as well. My skin is growing more coarse, my neck has become wrinkled and the lines on my face are becoming more deeply etched. I've changed from a young boy to an old man." Flynn, Edward, Measuring the value of a life, National Wildlife, 16 Jun 1997.

This week's theme: words for animal offspring.


We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

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