Uniforms worn in many different branches of the military all around the world include a sword frog as part of the standard or dress ensemble. But what exactly is it? What are the origins of the sword frog, and why is it called a frog?
Understanding the Frog
Broadly speaking, a sword frog is a loop or an attachment usually made of leather that holds the scabbard or sheath of a sword onto the belt. A sword frog can also serve as a universal sheath by itself, though this option is not employed as part of a uniform.
History Of The Sword Frog
Sword frogs have been used as a sword companion as far back as swords have been used as a weapon. There has been much controversy and historical blurriness as to exactly why the term “sword frog” came into use, but some believe it’s because the shape of the attachment actually resembles the shape of a frog. Others believe that the word frog, as it pertains to swords, is rooted in the word floccus, which is a term used to describe sheep wool.
The word evolved into flock, which means to remain mobile and function as a whole. It is also interesting to point out that sheep leather was the primary choice for crafting belts and sword scabbards because of the natural lanolin oil contained in the animal fat, which prevented blades from rusting. This evolution, combined with the visual similarities to an actual frog, might have yielded the naming of the attachment.
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