The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

celebrated frogThis story was the first success of famous American writer Samuel Clemens, better known by the Mark Twain. It is about a man who loved to so much that he would bet on anything. He finds a frog and trains it to jump so well that he thinks it can further than any other frog in Calaveras County. He keeps the frog in a wooden box and often brings it into town to find people to bet with. One day a passing stranger agrees to bet against the frog, provided the man can find another frog to jump for him. The man learns an expensive lesson when the new frog wins easily.

English Learner Vocabulary Help

The words and expressions in our Pre-Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1200 word list are: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

In order to understand the story you also need to know a special meaning of the word . When Jim Smiley went down to the river to find another frog, the stranger took out a spoon and filled Dan’l Webster (Jim’s frog) with bird shot… the small metal balls that are used in s.


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commercial(adj: commercial) Having to do with the buying and selling of goods and services. A commercial building/vehicle. 2. [likely to be] profitable. A commercial success. 3. Paid for by advertisements. Commercial radio/TV.
(n: commercial pl commercials) A paid advertisement on radio or TV. 2000

pen name(n: pen-name pl pen-names) A name used by a writer instead of his or her real name.

gamble(v: gamble, gambles, gambled, gambling) 1. To play a game in which you can win or lose money or other things you own. 2. To bet money or other valuable things on an outcome, such as a horse race. 3000

leap(v: leap, leaps, leapt or leaped, leaping) 1. To jump from a surface. The cat suddenly leaped into the air. 2. To jump over something. The dog leaped over the wall. 3. To move quickly. She leaped out of bed when the fire alarm went off. 3000

beetle(n: beetle pl beetles) A type of insect with four wings that form a hard cover on its back when it is not flying. 9000

bet(n: bet pl bets) An agreement in which people try to guess what will happen and the person who guesses wrong has to give something [such as money] to the person who guesses right.
(v: bet, bets, bet, betting) To make a bet; to risk losing something [such as money] if your guess about what will happen is wrong. 1000

breathe(v: breathe, breathes, breathed, breathing) To move air into and out of your lungs; to inhale and exhale. He was breathing hard from running.
(phrasal verb: breathe deeply) To take a lot of air into your lungs. 3000

canary(n: canary pl canaries) A small usually yellow or green singing bird that is often kept as a pet. 6000

irrigation channel(n: channel pl channels) 1. A long narrow place where water flows. 2. A deep part of a river, harbor, etc. where ships can go. 3. A narrow area of the sea between two areas of land that are close together. The English Channel. 4. A television or radio station. Discovery Channel2000

cock(n: rooster pl roosters) 1. An adult male chicken; a rooster. 2. A device for stopping or slowing the flow of a liquid or gas through a pipe; a stopcock. 3000

(n: county pl counties) An area of a state or country that is larger than a city and has its own government to deal with local matters; a province. 1000

dust(n: dust, noncount) A fine powder made up of very small pieces of earth, sand, etc. The furniture was covered in dust.
(adj: dusty; dustier, dustiest) Filled or covered with dust. He cleaned the dusty shelf. 2000

hero(n: hero pl heroes) A person admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. Although the term 'hero' is now commonly used to refer to both men and women, it strictly should used only for men. The word for a woman who is admired for being brave is 'heroine'.
(adj: heroic) Used to describe a hero or the brave acts that heroes do. 3000

mine(pronoun: mine) Something which belongs to me. That book is mine. 1000
(n: mine pl mines) 1. A place from which metals, coal, salt etc are dug. 2. A type of bomb used underwater or placed just beneath the surface of the ground.
(n: miner pl miners) A person who works in a mine. 2000

mud(n: mud, noncount) Soft, wet dirt. His shoes were covered with mud. 3000

parrot(n: parrot pl parrots) A bright-colored tropical bird that has a curved bill and can be taught to imitate speech. 5000

practice(v: practice, practices, practiced, practicing; British practise) To do something again and again in order to become better at it. To be a good musician, you have to practice a lot. 2. To do something regularly or constantly as an ordinary part of your life; a habit or custom. It was his usual practice to get up at 6.00 a.m. 1000

proud(adj: proud, prouder, proudest) 1. Feeling very pleased because of something you have done or own, someone you know, etc. She felt proud as she watched her daughter graduate. 2. Having a too high opinion of oneself; arrogant. She was too proud to talk to us. 2000
(n: pride, noncount) A feeling of pleasure and satisfaction at one's achievements, possessions, family etc. She watched with pride as her daughter graduated. 3000

scratch(n: scratch pl scratches) A shallow and narrow cut in the skin or a surface caused by something sharp.
(v: scratch, scratches, scratched, scratching) 1. To make a line in a surface or object by rubbing or cutting it with a sharp point. 2. To rub your skin with something sharp to stop an itch. 3000

sneeze(v: sneeze, sneezes, sneezed, sneezing) To suddenly force air out through your nose and mouth with a usually loud noise because your body is reacting to dust, a sickness, etc. (จาม) 5000

weigh(v: weigh, weighs, weighed, weighing) To find how heavy someone or something is; to measure the weight of someone or something. (วัดน้ำหนัก) 1000

yard(n: yard pl yards) 1. The area of ground around a house, usually covered with grass or plants. (สนาม) 2. An area of enclosed (fenced) ground used for a special purpose. (ลานบ้าน) 3. An old British unit of length equal to three feet or 0.9144 meters. (หลา) 2000

(n: shot pl shots) 1. An act of shooting a gun. I fired a warning shot into the air. 2. [noncount] The objects that are fired from cannons and some other weapons, especially the metal balls that are used in shotguns. 1000

shotgun(n: shotgun pl shotguns) A gun with one or two long barrels that shoots many small metal balls (shot) over short distances. They are mainly used for hunting. Very small balls [bird shot] are used for small animals; larger balls [buck shot] are used for larger animals. 5000

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