Date: Wed, 20 Mar 1996 13:53:48 -0500 From: Jesse T Sheidlower Subject: Re: see the elephant > > Sorry to chime in so late on this topic and my apologies if someone > has already noted that an article on the phrase "to see the elephant" > appeared in The Pacific Historian, volume 12, no. 1, Winter 1968, > pages 23-29. One of the key sources in the article is Barrere and > Leland, A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon and Cant. I hadn't even been aware that there had been a discussion of this topic, but there is a very extensive entry on this phrase in the RH Historical Dict. of American Slang s.v. elephant. An interesting and much earlier parallel which I only encountered recently is _see the lions,_ in OED2 from 1590. Jesse Sheidlower