George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Tue May 19 17:28:44 UTC 2009

I've checked the ADS-L archives, and it would appear that I never posted these citations here; they were published as a brief note in American Speech.  [73:4 (Winter, 1998):442]

1822:   . . . Severance told him that he was going to Canada, and should bring back with him a boodle, (a cant term for a bundle of counterfeit bills).
Commercial Advertiser, March 15, 1822, p. 2, col. 3

1823:   . . . upon the receipt of a boodle or bootle, as a package of counterfeit money is termed.
Inside Out; or, An Interior View of the New-York State Prison. . . .  By One Who Knows.  [W. A. Coffey]  p. 108

1823:   The mayor asked witness if Ann took out with her when walking the bootle (slang word for a bundle of forged notes.)
New-York Statesman, June 21, 1823, p. 2, col. 4

1828:   High Constable Hays lately received information that a boodle of counterfeit notes and coin was to be opened to the customers at the house of George Marriner, corner of Rutgers and Lombardy-streets.  [He raids the joint]  His house has long been known as head quarters for the dealers in counterfeit bills and coin, and stolen goods.
Commercial Advertiser, May 30, 1828, p. 2, col. 5, from NYDA

1832:   A counterfeit five dollar bill, of the Fulton Bank. . . .  It seems that a "boodle," as the slang term is, was opened of these Bills -- and this accounts for the sudden appearance of so much counterfeit money.  [9 people are arrested.]
New-York Evening Post, March 20, 1832, p. 2, col. 7

Notice that several of these passages speak of a "boodle" being "opened".  This is explained in a passage earlier than any of the ones above, though it doesn't use the word "boodle".
1820:   [David Fowler goes to Canada for counterfeit money, brings it back] in hard little packages, about three inches thick.
New-York Evening Post, August 23, 1820, p. 2, cols. 4-5

It seems that "the Dutch "boedel," meaning estate, possessions, or property" may in NY Dutch have come to mean something like "package" (or "bundle" -- is a connection possible?)


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

----- Original Message -----
From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Date: Monday, May 18, 2009 9:09 pm
Subject: Re: kaboodle

> At 5:52 PM -0700 5/18/09, Dave Wilton wrote:
> >The usual spelling is "caboodle." It's a variant of "boodle," which
> >is from the Dutch "boedel," meaning estate, possessions, or
> >property. It was more common in the 19th century, when you found
> >phrases like "the whole boodle" or "the whole caboodle."
> Interesting.  The OED does have it as "the whole caboodle" (from
> Ohio, in 1848, with an 1873 cite from Bret Harte), but only
> vouchsafes the etymology as "supposed to be a corruption of the
> phrase _kit and boodle_, but under _boodle_ the sense that "suggests
> Du. _boedel_ 'estate, possession, inheritance, stock" is glossed as
> 'counterfeit money' and acknowledged to be "not so easy to connect
> with sense 1", which is the relevant one for _kit and (ca)boodle_
> ('crowd, pack, lot').  HDAS does give essentially the story Dave
> cites, i.e. Du. _boedel_ > _boodle_ > _caboodle_.  (There's a nice
> "whole kerboodle" under the HDAS entry for the last, also from Bret
> Harte.)
> LH
> >
> >-----Original Message-----1
> >From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> >Behalf Of Mark Mandel
> >Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 5:38 PM
> >Subject: kaboodle
> >
> >We have it only in the idiom "(the whole) kit and kaboodle", but does
> >anyone know its origin?
> >
> >--
> >Mark Mandel
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------
> >The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> >------------------------------------------------------------
> >The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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