more information on the kibosh, qirbach, kurbash

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 22 21:36:36 UTC 2010

There is an 1830 NY Med Journal as well. I'll post it later--I don't
want to start the search from scratch on a different computer, so I'll
pick it up when I get back to mine. The reference is to travels in the
Middle East. There is no explanatory note on the term either which
hardly suggests that it was "hardly well-known".


On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 4:28 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:
> At 6/22/2010 10:26 AM, Michael Quinion wrote:
>>This new early example of the term is extremely interesting. However, I'm
>>not persuaded that the suggested origin in a Middle Eastern instrument of
>>torture can be supported by it. It is clear from the earliest examples
>>that "kibosh" was a slang term of the London streets. The whip, and its
>>name, were hardly well-known even among educated people in 1835.
> Google Books does yield a few hits from British books and magazines
> for "courbash" between 1829 and 1835  -- and none any earlier.  (I
> have not tried to vet all these dates, and some, particularly the
> journals, may be false.)  Two are books by Richard Robert
> Madden.  The Westminster Review article, which is Oct. 1830, is
> titled "Novels and Travels in Turkey" and is a review of four books,
> one being one of Madden's books.
> But who am I to say whether this made "courbash" common among Cockneys by 1835.
> Joel

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