Ribbit! (1965)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Mar 9 12:40:36 UTC 2005

The late appearance of "ribbit" may be compared with the earlier, but still surprisingly recent, appearance of  "quack," "honk," and "oink."


Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU> wrote:
---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Benjamin Zimmer
Subject: Ribbit! (1965)

The OED entry for "ribbit" = 'sound made by a frog' gives a first cite of
c1968 from the _Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour_ ("That's right. Ribit! I
am. I am a frog"). There's a note from the Smothers Brothers program
manager saying that he doubted that this was the first use of the word.

In a discussion of "ribbit" on the alt.usage.english newsgroup, Donna
Richoux found a reference online to a 1965 _Gilligan's Island_ episode
with Mel Blanc voicing the character of "Ribbit the Frog"...

Gilligan's Island - Water, Water Everywhere
Episode Number 14
First Aired January 2, 1965
Production Code 0714
Writer Tom Waldman & Frank Waldman
Director Stanley Z. Cherry
Guest Stars: Mel Blanc (as Ribbit the Frog (voice))

--Ben Zimmer

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