‘Gilligan’s Island’: A 1965 Episode Introduced Frog Sound ‘Ribbit’ To the English Language

by Jeremy Spirogis
(L-R) Russell Johnson as The Professor, Roy Hinkley; Tina Louise as Ginger Grant; Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers; Natalie Schafer as Mrs. Lovey Howell; Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III; Alan Hale, Jr. as The Skipper (Jonas Grumby), and Bob Denver as Gilligan standing on a dock in a pond-like body of water

Everyone that has ever heard a frog croak associates the sound with the phrase “Ribbit.” In actuality, the pure noise that comes from a frog or toad is basically extra like a chirp. 

Thanks to the magic of Hollywood, “Ribbit” has develop into essentially the most generally accepted noise {that a} frog makes. It ranks proper up there with the animal sounds of “Quack,” “Oink,” and “Honk.” The coined time period is now an simple a part of the English language.

The mainstream noise bought its begin within the early days of tv. It is believed that the sound was first heard on an episode of Gilligan’s IslandOthers say “Ribbit” first confirmed up on a preferred selection present from the ’60s.

(L-R) Russell Johnson as The Professor, Roy Hinkley; Tina Louise as Ginger Grant; Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers; Natalie Schafer as Mrs. Lovey Howell; Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III; Alan Hale, Jr. as The Skipper (Jonas Grumby), and Bob Denver as Gilligan standing on a dock in a pond-like body of water
(L-R) Russell Johnson as The Professor, Roy Hinkley; Tina Louise as Ginger Grant; Dawn Wells as Mary Ann Summers; Natalie Schafer as Mrs. Lovey Howell; Jim Backus as Thurston Howell III; Alan Hale, Jr. as The Skipper (Jonas Grumby), and Bob Denver as Gilligan | CBS by way of Getty Images

Origin of the frog sound ‘Ribbit’

According to linguist Benjamin Zimmer, “Ribbit” originated in a 1965 episode of Gilligan’s Island, experiences Mental Floss. Looney Tunes legend, Mel Blanc, was the voice of a frog that Gilligan befriends. The character was named Ribbit the Frog. It was most probably the primary time that the phrase ribbit was related to a frog. Although, it stays unclear if this was, the truth is, the primary use of the “Ribbit” sound.

Some give credit score to the Smothers Brothers, who clearly used the sound in 1967 on their comedy program. Mental Floss claims that Zimmer attributes Gilligan’s Island with “the earliest recorded usage found so far.”

Blanc was the “Man of a Thousand Voices,” bringing to life characters reminiscent of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd. There is little doubt that if he was requested to make a croaking sound, he made it his personal. Arguably, one of the best voiceover actor of the previous century Blanc most probably created the “Ribbit” sound as we all know it today.

Did the Smothers Brothers popularize the time period ‘Ribbit’?

RELATED: ‘Gilligan’s Island’: Tina Louise Had a Complicated Relationship With the Show

According to Zimmer, the Oxford English Dictionary has an entry for the phrase “Ribbit” that describes it as a “sound made by a frog.” It cites the supply from the 1968 Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. There is a observe within the dictionary from the Smothers Brothers supervisor, stating that he “doubted that this was the first use of the word.”

Dick and Tom Smothers, identified for his or her hilarious skits, entertained tv audiences on their comedy selection present. In March 1967, they aired “The Frog Prince” sketch in Season 1, Episode 8. Tom, dressed as a frog, interacts in a puppet kingdom with a princess. He regularly says, “Ribbit, Ribbit,” as he slurps his tongue, pretending to catch passing bugs. When the princess kisses him, he doesn’t return to his standing as a good-looking prince. Instead, he’s joined by his brother, the place they repeatedly croak “Ribbit.”

Author David Bianculli claims the frog prince was alleged to say “friggit,” however the censors wouldn’t enable it, so that they stated “Ribbit.” The time period has been used ever since that point and is related to the sound of a frog.

Premise of the ‘Gilligan’s Island’ episode that featured Mel Blanc as a frog

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On January 2, 1965, Episode 14 of Season 1 aired on Gilligan’s Island. Titled “Water Water Everywhere,” the character of Ribbit the Frog appeared. When Gilligan discovers the freshwater spring has dried up, he tries to warn the others. They start to ration their ingesting water till the clumsy first mate by chance punctures a gap within the container, dropping all of the water that they had left.

Feeling horrible, Gilligan decides to go away camp. He finds a frog that’s moist and goes in the hunt for a brand new water supply. Gilligan finally finds an underground cave that’s full of water, saving the day for the castaways. As they elevate a cup to rejoice Gilligan, he offers credit score to his new greatest friend, the frog.

Blanc is listed within the IMDb credit because the voice for Ribbit the Frog. The script states that the frog doesn’t make a definite sound however simply croaks. Regardless of who stated “Ribbit” first, the sound a frog makes is all because of the magic of Hollywood.

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