More on Kemosabe

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Feb 17 03:36:39 UTC 2008


At 2/15/2008 04:43 PM, Sam Clements wrote:
>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.

This certainly sounds very plausible, given what
I remember from a somewhat later period about
summer camps with Indian sounding names!  And
it's more than Cecil seemed to know, in the source given us by Jon L.

Joel


>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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