Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Registat* (for Registration, etc.)

Nine months can seem like an eternity to many human mothers-to-be, but elephant mamas carry their little wrinkled ones around for almost two years before giving birth! It must feel like gestating and re-gestating for the old olifant—which, by the way, along with oliphant and olyphant, represent archaic spellings for elephant. We found five examples of Registat* in OhioLINK, and 61 in WorldCat, making it a "low probability" typo on the Ballard list. So where do pregnant elephants register for their baby showers? Backpackyderms 'R' Us?

* Thanks for inspiration today to my friend CD, author of the poem "You Can't Say Don't or Can't to an Elephant."

(Baby Asian elephant with its mother at Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, London, 2008, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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