Where does the word “Polliwog” come from and What does Polliwog mean?

If we called the polliwog (immature amphibian) a polwygle as our English forebears did five centuries ago, the source of the name might be more easily identified.

That is, poll, “head,” and wygle, which we now spell wiggle, a “wigglehead.”

Tadpole (which see) is the usual name in England; in America we use one or the other, whichever may first come to mind.