GM Word of the Week: Bullywug

Word of the Week 170 x 170

Bullywugs are everywhere. Every nook, every cranny, every little out of the way swamp or lake seems to be filled with them when you are of a certain level. They go away eventually. But what, actually, are they? Where did they come from? What inspired them? And just who is responsible for them in the first place?

The GM Word of the Week is produced and performed by Fiddleback of The Mad Adventurers Society and written by The Angry GM of this site right here that you are reading.

One thought on “GM Word of the Week: Bullywug

  1. I started listening to Word of the Week today and I’m very glad I did!
    I made it all the way to “Bullywug,” and I know it’s a little late, but have you considered the possibility that “Bullywug” might be inspired by the “Polliwog?” (a synonym for “tadpole”)
    I only bring this up because you mentioned that you couldn’t find any etymological sources for “Bullywug.”

    It’s a bit of stretch, but there’s a connection in that “Polliwog” and “Bullywug” (which sound awfully similar) both refer to amphibious creatures, so maybe I’m on to something. I don’t have a lot of references except for the way it sounds and looks, but two other “fantasy” applications come to mind:
    1) Poliwag, the Tadpole Pokémon, is a marshland creature whose humanoid “evolutions” (Poliwhirl and Poliwrath) look a heck of a lot like Bullywugs.
    2) At the risk of sacrificing any more dignity than I did in point #1, the children’s show Gullah Gullah Island features Binyah Binyah, a Polliwog who bears a striking resemblance to the small group of Bullywugs I found with a quick Google search.
    … then again, frog creatures look like frog creatures, so take this “evidence” with a grain of salt.

    Assuming you hadn’t already thought of this, I hope you at least find it interesting!

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