Posted by Bob on July 04, 2006
In Reply to: "I've been to the city and I've seen the elephant." posted by David on July 04, 2006
: I hope someone can help with this saying. I think it's a US western origin, and has to do with becoming worldly-wise. "I've been to the city and I've seen the elephant." I seem to remember that the "elephant" referred to some sort of machinery or invention, and not the actual animal.
There's a discussion of this phrase at http://www.wordorigins.org/Words/LetterE/elephantsee.html