This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Spot the frippet: jumbo.

Well, here's a big one:


How can we fail to spot one of those?

We can have a jumbo portion of chips (though it's not recommended unless it's a really special occasion):

(these are, obviously, not USA chips)

 or a jumbo pack of washing powder or cornflakes or sawdust.

Then there are jumbo jets:

A jumbo can be a Dutch or South African shop, too: or a Laosian rickshaw; a US tank; a German glider; or a Pittsburgh sausage.

The most important jumbo to spot, however, is always mumbo jumbo, which is nonsense pretending to be either magic, or something very else important indeed.

Spot the frippet: jumbo. Mumbo jumbo probably comes from the Mandingo mama dyumbo, which is the name of a god. The other jumbos are named after Jumbo the elephant:

Jumbo (1861 -1885) was born in Mali, and spent time in zoos in Paris and London, eventually being sold to PJ Barnum who took Jumbo to America with Barnum's travelling circus.

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