More on Kemosabe

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 16 05:10:03 UTC 2008


As I recall the radio show, back in the day when it was sponsored by
"Cheerioats,"  this dynamic duo addressed each other as "kemo-sabay"
(so spelled in a Lone Ranger comic book of the day). If the second
half had been spelled "sabe," most readers probably would have read it
as [seib]. Hence, this was a pronunciation-spelling. Till I read this,
I pictured the second half in my mind as "sobby," though I didn't
relate it to "sob."

-Wilson

On Feb 15, 2008 4:43 PM, Sam Clements <SClements at neo.rr.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Sam Clements <SClements at NEO.RR.COM>
> Subject:      Re: More on Kemosabe
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> The "Kee-Mo Sa-Bee" part is pretty well solved, at least as far as the
> origin of the application of the term to the Lone Ranger on the radio show
> from 1932.  If you want to see where it, indeed, came from in a camp in
> Michigan, then
> http://books.google.com/books?id=GUVIAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA134&dq=%22kee-mo%22++date:1910-1950&lr=&num=50&as_brr=0
> It meant, to them, "Scout Runner" which was a title bestowed upon a camp
> member who took 9 tests.  There were other Indian sounding names awarded to
> persons who passed certain tests.
>
> I suppose it's possible that someone can read this book, analyze the Indian
> names, and declare the origin.
>
> As to "Tonto," that one's still up in the air, at least as far as boy's
> camps in Michigan can help.
>
> Sam Clements
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Alan Knutson" <boris at TERRACOM.NET>
> To: <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>
> Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 4:10 PM
> Subject: Re: More on Kemosabe
>
>
> > How about   ┬┐Qui me sabe?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> > Of Laurence Horn
> > Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 2:59 PM
> > To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> > Subject: Re: [ADS-L] More on Kemosabe
> >
> >
> > At 12:17 PM -0500 2/15/08, Mark Mandel wrote:
> >>Is there any evidence for "kemo" = 'secret'?
> >>
> >>m a m
> >
> > You mean it's not chemosabe?
> >
> > LH
> >
> >>On Fri, Feb 15, 2008 at 11:59 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net>
> >>wrote:
> >>
> >>>  The following seems a pretty obvious speculation, but Cecil does not
> >
> >>> mention it.  There is in the OED "sabe n.  ...  slang (orig.U.S.)  =
> >
> >>> savvy n.  1872 B. Harte in Atlantic Monthly Mar. 352/2 Did n't hev no
> >
> >>> more sabe than to come round yar with sickness in the house and no
> >>> provision.  1892 Kipling & Balestier Naulahka 273 You have been
> >>> romping around for six months after something you hadn't the sabe to
> >
> >>> hold when you'd got.  1913 J. London Valley of Moon 311 We ain't got
> >
> >>> the sabe, or the knack, or something or other.
> >>>
> >>>  How about "kemosabe" = secret knowledge -- that is, someone who has
> >
> >>> knowledge of things not known to others?  A scout.
> >>>
> >>>  One might also speculate about the name Kamp Kee-Mo Sah-Bee:  Appeal
> >
> >>> to insiders -- we have special knowledge that you don't.
> >>>
> >>>  Joel
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
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--
All say, "How hard it is that we have to die"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-----
                                              -Sam'l Clemens

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