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Origin of Kibosh
Routledge Studies in Etymology





ISBN 9781138628953
Published October 11, 2017 by Routledge
172 Pages

 
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Book Description

This is an etymological study of the origins of the word kibosh, which has long been one of the great mysteries of the English language. Unconvincing derivations have been suggested from Yiddish to Gaelic and Italian, and thus far consensus among lexicographers has leaned toward referencing the word as ‘origin unknown’.



 



In this study, the authors present convincing and important new evidence in favour of the derivation of kibosh from the word for a fearsome Middle Eastern whip, known as the kurbash.



 



This monograph is one of the most significant etymological works directed at a single phrase. It is the gold standard on deep-drill, focused and exhaustive single-word lexicography and will be of interest to lexicographers and linguists in the relevant fields.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: Overview



CHAPTER 2: Introduction: ‘Origin unknown’; previous works; chronology



CHAPTER 3: Penal Servitude! continued



CHAPTER 4: Spread of put the kibosh on from Cockney



CHAPTER 5: Kibosh in several newspaper accounts



CHAPTER 6: Additional attestations of kibosh



CHAPTER 7: Three competing etymologies are unconvincing



CHAPTER 8: General observations



APPENDICES



Appendix #1: Anatoly Liberman’s 2013 article ‘Three Recent



Theories of Kibosh, continued’ (Aug. 14, 2013)



Appendix #2: kibosh-from-kurbash etymology, evidently first



Proposed by Matthew Little (Nov. 2009)



Appendix #3: Several newspaper items about chimney sweeps



Appendix #4: Political complexities in Britain of the early 1830s



Appendix #5: Notes & Queries items on a Yiddish origin of



kibosh/kybosh



Appendix #6: Two pictures illustrating use of the kurbash



REFERENCES



INDEX

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Author(s)

Biography

Gerald Cohen is Professor of German and Russian, with a research specialty in etymology, at Missouri University of Science and Technology, USA.



Stephen Goranson works in the library of Duke University, where he also earned a doctorate.



Matthew Little is Associate Professor of English at Mississippi State University.