Tuesday, June 24, 2008


A-Litter at 6 weeks old.
A-Litter at 6 weeks old.,
originally uploaded by djitl.
Zimbabwe is much in the news these days, and when I think of Zimbabwe, I think of Rhodesia, and when I think of Rhodesia, I think of Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Shouldn't these be called Zimbabwean Ridgebacks by now? The wikipedia article gives no inkling that this might be the case, though it seems that I am not linguistically alone in this notion .

The problem, I feel, is that the breed would miss out on the delicious alliteration of the R sounds. I briefly considered “Zimbabwean Z-back” until I considered that it sounds too much like “zweiback”, an unfortunate and disturbing association. “Zidgeback” would be a possibility were it not for the naysayers would would point out that zidge is not a word, and does not convey the essence of the salient physical feature of the creature.

Zimbabwean Zagback works, however. The rest of the fur zigs, but in the middle of the back it zags. (Or perhaps it is the other way around and the dog could be called a zigback instead.) And while it might seem harder to say than Rhodesian Ridgeback, it makes up for that in coolness. Plus, it scores points on the political awareness front.

Still thinking about the csae of the Burmese Tiger.

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