The word “jumbo” comes from the name of Jumbo the circus elephant. Jumbo was hit by a train and killed on September 15, 1885 in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada. A statue was erected in his honor, and the name stuck.
How did the train not see a “jumbo” elephant!?!
As far as I can recall, Jumbo was on the train — they were taking the circus from Toronto to Windsor / Detroit.
More importantly, there is a superstition about elephants: having one with its backside to you is bad luck. So the town turned the statue after a few years. Now the elephant faces St. Thomas, and highway-drivers are greeted with the backside.