I am having some electrical work done on the house, and learned that a fusebox in Korean is called a '두꺼비집' or 'toad house'.

Why is this? It seems like like it should be something to do with the shape or appearance, but I couldn't find any good explanation.

I'm not entirely sure what type of fuse, fuse holder, or fusebox is called a '두꺼비집' - I suspect the usage was coined before the modern RCD designs.

Any pictures showing what's meant would be great!

2 Answers 2


According to an article in Chosun Daily, this is why it's called like that:

... 큼직한 스위치 모양이 엎드린 두꺼비 등 같아 그런 이름이 붙었다. http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2015/09/22/2015092204054.html

which can be translated as:

"The origin of the name is due to the appearance of the large switch - it looked like a back of a toad facing down."

Maybe the photo in the article would satisfy your curiosity. The upper one is the older one:

enter image description here

and below is a newer one.

  • "...이제 남자가 하는 집안일은 대개 '음식 쓰레기 버리기'같은 단순 노동이다. 남편이 맡는 숙련 가사 노동은 '명절에 전 부치기' 정도만 남은 듯하다." LOL, what a sexist attitude. Whoever wrote that article must be really old-fashioned. :P
    – jick
    Jul 29, 2017 at 22:50
  • @jick Well actually that statement is not far from truth. :'D
    – PenPoint
    Jul 30, 2017 at 3:53
  • So is the idea that the connector at the top looks like the head of the toad? Jul 30, 2017 at 10:05
  • Well, that is how the article describing it. I never saw one in the top so... I am not really sure about it.
    – PenPoint
    Jul 31, 2017 at 8:39

Song : 두껍아 두껍아 헌집 주께 새집 다오 (A). Toad toad. I will give an old house and you would give me a new house.

Like this song, toad is familiar to us, because it represents a luck.

Cover knife switch : We call it toad house before (nowadays we do not use) because its shape is like toad's sitting.

But there are another stories : When Korea use a electronic light at the first time, it is magic to us. So we call it 도깨비 불 (ghost's fire) so that 도깨비집 is changed into 두꺼비집, because their pronunciation is similar.

Or, the company of electronic light use some mark (or symbol picture) whose shape is like a toad. Accordingly, we call it 두꺼비 집.

Origin of the word toad : 두껍다 (be thick) : 저 책은 두껍다. The book is thick.

Note that there is a story about princess who do not smile (As far as I know, there is a similar western story).

Here we say that she have a thick face. (그녀는 얼굴이 두껍다).

Example : 그는 낯두껍다 - (B). He has a thick face.

Meaning : He obtain a food from other people and never give. He do not work and enjoy other's result. In this time, we can use the expression (B).

두꺼비 집 = toad house :

두꺼비집 (heed : no space)

1) Cover knife switch

2) Singing a song (A), children make a house with sand.

3) pocket

4) Consider a long room. So we put 장지문 (=a paper sliding door) so that we have two rooms. Here, when we open the door, the door is putted in some space, which is called 두꺼비집.

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