Etymology of term “roly poly”

I came across one of these shells in South Carolina earlier this year and couldn’t recall its name.

“Oh, that’s a roly poly,” a British beachcomber explained.

Looks more like a roly poly than an olive to me

It was a good find considering most of the beach was covered with an extremely thick, clunky, and rather unattractive variety shell called a surf clam.

I was shocked by their sheer size.

This surf clam was almost the size of my hand

The technically correct term isn’t roly poly, but rather olive instead, per its zoological place in the Olividae family. But why let scientific standards get in the way of a better descriptive term.

Roly poly has a better sound to it.

There goes another roly poly (aka olive) disappearing into the sand

Sometimes you’ve got to listen to the tourists!

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