[Ads-l] Matthew Little comments on kibosh in Penal Servitude (forwarded message)

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sun Jun 17 10:45:16 EDT 2018


Matthew Little (co-author of the book Origin of Kibosh) sent me
(G. Cohen) the message below with the request that I forward it to
ads-l.  In so doing, I have removed his quotation marks and written
the quoted items  in upper-case letters.  For easy reference, the verse
in question says: There is one little dodge I am thinking, / That would put
your profession all to smash, / It would put on the kibosh like winking, /
That is if they was to introduce the lash.

     Matthew's message says:

If the author of PS intended the third line to function as a kind of filler
that repeats the meaning of the second line (as distinct from offering a
third line that the fourth will develop), I have to wonder why the author
would use an unglossed expression that was probably pretty obscure circa
1830, rather than choosing among many more possibilities that could
work between IT WOULD and LIKE WINKING, such as FINISH THE
BUSINESS or END ALL YOUR PLEASURE or SILENCE YOUR
LAUGHTER or STOP YOUR FINE FROLICS. And if THAT IS in the
fourth line does not introduce an explanation of what immediately precedes,
what purpose would these words serve?  If they do not prepare readers for a
gloss of PUT ON THE KIBOSH, the author could have achieved greater force
and improved the rhythm in a metrically awkward line by dropping these two
superfluous words.

--Matthew Little

Book information:
Gerald Cohen, Stephen Goranson, and Matthew Little. Origin of
     Kibosh: Routledge Studies in Etymology. (London and New York:
     Routledge; Taylor & Francis). ISBN 9781138628953.  The book
     gives 2018 as the date of publication, but it was in fact available
     already by mid-October 2017.


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