from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A battle between the frogs and mice; specifically (cap.), the title of an ancient Greek parody on the Iliad.


  • 'After which grand tournament, to which that of Tottenham shall be but a flea-bite and a batrachomyomachy —' 'Confound you, and your long words, sir,' said poor Will, 'I know you are flouting me.'

    Charles Kingsley, Westward Ho!

  • Among mammals, stoats and weasels have been mentioned as likely allies, in this batrachomyomachy the frogs are men, but the alliance, certainly in the case of stoats, would prove dangerous.

    Eliakim Littell, Robert S. Littell, The Living Age, Volume 293

  • Once more you may ask, perhaps somewhat pleadingly this time, 'So is the comma right or wrong?' Or perhaps you have already realized the truth: like so many other grammatical concerns, this one is a nothing, a trifle, a batrachomyomachy.

    The serial, Harvard, or Oxford comma, Motivated Grammar


This word comes from the Greek words for ‘frog,’ ‘mouse,’ and ‘battle.’ It has the figurative meaning of ‘a petty quarrel.’