Call me Runcible. That is what my master calls me—and that is what Taka-chan called me from the time we first met.
I want to tell you about Taka-chan, how I found her on the other side of the earth. It is a strange story, almost like a dream, but who is to say what is a dream and what is real?
This might come as a surprise, but Taka-chan and I is was the first book we’ve published that was written by a dog. A Weimaraner named Runcible. And how did Runcible’s “master” come to call him by this strange name? A little knowledge of nonsense tell you that “runcible” (often “runcible spoon”) is a coinage of Edward Lear’s. In a recent post at vocabulary.com on words invented or popularized by children’s books, Ben Zimmer explains:
What is [the runcible spoon]? Some have suggested Lear made it up to sound like rouncival, an obsolete word meaning “gigantic, robust.” He later illustrated the runcible spoon as having a large round bowl (big enough for a “dolomphious duck” to catch a spotted frog in), but by the 1920s some had interpreted it to refer to a spoon-fork hybrid, much like the modern spork.