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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Elephant mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Elephant

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun El"e*phant
Senses
  1. [Zoöl] A mammal of the order Proboscidia and family Elephantidae, of which two living species, Elephas maximusformerly Elephas Indicus) and Loxodonta Africanaformerly E. Africanus), and several fossil species, are known. They have five toes, a long proboscis or trunk, and two large ivory tusks proceeding from the extremity of the upper jaw, and curving upwards. The molar teeth are large and have transverse folds. Elephants are the largest land animals now existing. The elephant is classed as a pachyderm.
  2. Ivory; the tusk of the elephant.(Obs)

Etymology: OE. elefaunt olifant, OF. olifant, F. éléphant, L. elephantus elephas -antis, fr. Gr. 'ele`fas 'ele`fantos; of unknown origin; perh. fr. Skr. ibha, with the Semitic article al el, prefixed, or fr. Semitic Aleph hindi Indian bull; or cf. Goth. ulbandus camel, AS. olfend

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Five-toed pachyderm
  2. The symbol of the Republican Party; introduced in cartoons by Thomas Nast in 1874
Wiktionary

From Middle English elefant, elefaunt, from Old French elefant, elefan, olifant, re-latinized in Middle French as elephant, from Latin elephantus, from Ancient Greek ἐλέφᾱς (eléphās) (gen. ἐλέφαντος (eléphantos)). Believed to be derived from an Afro-Asiatic form such as Proto-Berber *eḷu (“elephant”) (compare Tamahaq (Tahaggart) êlu, (Ghat) alu) or Egyptian 𓍋𓃀𓅱𓌟 (ȝbw) (ābu) ‘elephant; ivory’. More at ivory. Replaced Middle English olifant, which replaced Old English elpend (“elephant”).

  1. A mammal of the order Proboscidea, having a trunk, and two large ivory tusks jutting from the upper jaw.
  2. (figuratively) Anything huge and ponderous.
  3. (paper, printing) A printing-paper size measuring 30 inches×22 inches.
  4. (Britain, childish) used when counting to add length, so that each count takes about one second.
    Let's play hide and seek. I'll count. One , two , three ...
  5. (obsolete) ivory

elephant was also found in the following language(s): Middle French

Notable Persons Named Elephant

Elephant Man is a dancehall, reggae fusion, comedy hip hop, and dirty rap musician. He was most active from 1997 to present. Elephant was given the name O'Neil Bryan on September 11th, 1975 in Kingston, Jamaica.

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Elephant Micah is a lo-fi music, independent music, and folk rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He plays Guitar and vocals. His ongoing career started in 2000. Elephant was given the name Joseph O'Connell .

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Elephant

Babar the Elephant is a fictional character.

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Fun Facts about the name Elephant

  • How unique is the name Elephant? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Elephant was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Elephant: Your name in reverse order is Tnahpele. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Htpaenle. How do you pronounce that?

What Elephants Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Elephant born Oct 15, 1976

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a female in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Saudi Arabia approximately on 1600. Your profession was builder of roads, bridges, and docks.

You were a revolutionary type. You inspired changes in any sphere - politics, business, religion, housekeeping. You could have been a leader. Your lesson - to learn humility and faith in spiritual principles. You should believe in High Reason.

Name poster for Elephant

Name poster for Elephant(click to save the high quality version)

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.