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Why would we call our hearing aid “The Bandicoot” (which is really a shortened version of “rabbit-eared bandicoot”)?

Why would we choose the name of this peculiar creature

(however beautiful) to represent a hearing aid? There are several reasons why we might not:

  1. defines an “old coot” as “a foolish person, especially an old man”
  2. Bandicoot is a sewer-declogging robot in India

But here’s the true story of how this name came about….

When my kids were small, we enjoyed reading a book called Strange Animals of Australia (by Toni Eugene), and published by the National Geographic Society):

My elder son and I would get into (pretend) insult matches which involved accusing the other of being a strange animal of Australia:

  • “You’re nothing but a numbat!”
  • “Oh yeah? Well you’re a dirty no good wombat!”

But every argument ended with someone calling the other a rotten rabbit-eared bandicoot.

This eccentric marsupial, a seeming Frankenstein of two creatures, is also known as the “greater bilby” — but that just doesn’t have the same pizzazz, right?

When it came time to think of an animal which best represents our project, the rabbit-eared bandicoot assumed the title because

  1. it’s got ears in its name,
  2. it has enormous ears (the better to hear you with), and
  3. it’s so cute!
  4. Its name implies that it has “borrowed” its hearing device from another source, just as our hearing device is in some sense a “borrowing” of ears.

So Rabbit-Eared Bandicoot it is!