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Leapin’ Lizards!

Okay, they are alligators, to be sure. But the Little Orphan Annie exclamation in the title has some basis in fact. According to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia (but backed up by the Online Etymology Dictionary) the origin of the term “alligator” likely derives from the phrase el lagarto (“the lizard”), a term used by the Spanish conquistadors to refer to the reptiles because they were too busy taking over the New World to bother with taxonomy. Of course, they were not biologists and taxonomy had not yet been developed, anyway. So it is a clever comic strip pun.

As expected, Mark has to make a run for it before the gators wake up and attack him. Looks like one did in panel 3, “chomping” at Mark. Ah, but the term “chomp” means to bite, and it’s clear the gator missed Mark. Perhaps “Snap!” would have been more apt. Oh my, this is what happens when you get diverted into word origins. It’s like an addiction! I’ll give Rivera a pass for “triathlon“.


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