Todays Word: jumbo

Word: jumbo




noun: Something very large.
adjective: Very large.


The word was popularized after Jumbo, a very large elephant exhibited by circus showman P.T. Barnum. Jumbo was captured in Africa, sold to a zoo in Paris, traded to London Zoo, and again sold to Barnum who took him to New York. The elephant died in a collision with a locomotive in Canada. The origin of the name jumbo is not confirmed. It’s probably from the second element of mumbo jumbo or from another word in an African language. Earliest documented use: 1823.


“The market for jumbo loans, which are safe but too large for Fannie or Freddie to guarantee, ground to a halt last week.”
Paper Losses; The Economist (London, UK); Aug 23, 2007.

Explore “jumbo” in the Visual Thesaurus.


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