"your back shall taste of the kurbaj (whip)", 1846, kibosh

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Jan 29 19:29:23 UTC 2012

On 1/29/2012 10:59 AM, Stephen Goranson wrote:
> ....
> More evidence that kibosh (as in "put the kibosh on"), and kybosh, korbadj, kurbach, kourbach, qirbach, qurbash, courbache, corbage, kurbash, and now kurbaj mean whip, lash:
> '...Eat all that is set before you, or, by the soul of Hosseyn, your back shall taste of the _kurbaj_ and the _mikraah_ (rod).'
> Punch, or the London Charivari  vol. X (1846) p. 273, col. 2
> [article title]"Egyptian Impressions"
> {and note the PN Kybosh-... in col. 1]
> Stephen Goranson
> http://www.duke.edu/~goranson
> Google Books:
> http://books.google.com/books?id=yv8CAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA273&dq=whip+kybosh+OR+kibosh&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IGclT_nkGca2tweQ2fGZDw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=whip%20kybosh%20OR%20kibosh&f=false
> http://tinyurl.com/7zwcjmu

The personal 'name' seems to me to be essentially "Kibosh Ibn Humbug", a
joke name wherein "kibosh" might 'mean' either "bosh" ("nonsense") (as
it did sometimes later) or "stop" as in the contemporary "put the kibosh
on". Whether one can make more of it with better understanding of the
'Orientalist' context of the time, I don't know.

No doubt "kurbaj" meant approximately "whip" (used for punishment). Here
I believe the word is introduced superfluously along with other 'Middle
Eastern' words in jocular imitation of various 'Orientalist' works.

I myself do not [yet] see a presumptive etymological connection between
"kurbaj" and "kibosh".

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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