"Bubkes" in a humorous political commentary

Jim Parish jparish at SIUE.EDU
Tue Feb 3 16:07:05 UTC 2004

Gerald Cohen wrote:
>     "Bubkes" doesn't really exist in English, although I've heard
> Judge Judy use it occasionally (clear by context to everyone in the
> courtroom). So Horrigan chose this foreign word over "Nothing" and
> even the somewhat familiar "Nada." No doubt there's a humorous overlay
> to his using it--appropriate in a humorous political commentary.
>      Clearly the full stylistic range of a cultured native speaker of
> English includes not only high-styled speech but slang and apparently
> also foreign elements.

Hmm. It was used on-air as long ago as the early '60s, on the Dick Van
Dyke Show; Rob had written a song with that title, which (on the show)
became a minor hit. (As I recall, he had to explain the meaning of the
word to Laura.)

Jim Parish

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