[Ads-l] antedating "ish kabibble"

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 18 20:24:44 EST 2021


There is a discussion on English Stack Exchange, in which some people 
provide many early examples and some early variants and an alternative 
etymology from 1913.

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/549516/origin-of-ish-kabibble-as-an-interjection-i-e-what-me-worry



------ Original Message ------
From: "Jonathan Lighter" <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
To: ADS-L at listserv.uga.edu
Sent: 2/18/2021 5:10:32 PM
Subject: Re: antedating "ish kabibble"

>---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>Subject:      Re: antedating "ish kabibble"
>-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>Heh.
>
>According to the L. of C. Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 3, Musical
>Compositions. (Washington, D.C.: L. of C. Copyright Office, 1913), p. 1046,
>the melody of the song "Isch Ka Bibble (I Should Worry)," "words by Sam M.
>Lewis, music by G. W. Meyer," was copyrighted Sept. 16, 1913. The words and
>melody, under the title of "Isch -Ga-Bibble," were copyrighted on Sept. 20.
>
>So the headline "Nibble, Nibble, Ishkabibble" appeared nearly six weeks
>before the song.
>
>Fascinating.
>
>JL
>
>
>
>On Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 7:53 PM Peter Reitan <pjreitan at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>  A popular song called Ish Ga Bibble was published in 1913.  I've wrote
>>  about it in my RealAlfredE blog.
>>
>>
>>  https://therealalfrede.blogspot.com/2013/03/what-me-worry-isch-ka-bibble-and-alfred.html
>>
>>  The US was in the middle of the "I should worry!" craze.  "I should
>>  worry" was said questioningly, to mean the exact opposite - "what? I
>>  should worry?"  Imagine Billy Crystal in the Princess Bride.
>>
>>  "Ish Ga Bibble" was intended to be a fun way to express the same thing.
>>
>>  Sample Lyrics:
>>  I never care or worry
>>  Isch Gabibble - Isch Gabibble
>>  I never tear or hurry
>>  Isch Gabibble - Isch Gabibble
>>  . . . .
>>  I should worry if they steal my wife
>>  And let a pimple grow on my young life
>>  Isch Gabibble - I should worry?
>>  No! Not me!
>>
>>  An explanation in 1914 claimed that a songwriter overheard the Yiddish
>>  phrase "nisch gefiddelt" in a vaudeville show, which supposedly had a
>>  similar meaning as "I should worry," misunderstood the pronunciation and
>>  wrote the song.
>>
>>  Whether any of that is true or not is another story, but the song
>>  appears to be when the word became widely used.
>>
>>  The "I should worry" craze influenced the later adoption of "What - me
>>  worry" as the slogan for Alfred E. Neuman on Mad Magazine.  A 1914
>>  poster by Harry Stuff used an Alfred-like image with the question, "Me -
>>  worry?"  Years later when the Mad Magazine people found a postcard with
>>  that image, they borrowed it and the expression for their magazine.
>>
>>  ------ Original Message ------
>>  From: "Jonathan Lighter" <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
>>  To: ADS-L at listserv.uga.edu
>>  Sent: 2/18/2021 12:10:46 PM
>>  Subject: antedating "ish kabibble"
>>
>>  >---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  -----------------------
>>  >Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  >Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>>  >Subject:      antedating "ish kabibble"
>>
>>  >-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>  >
>>  >Still not in OED.
>>  >
>>  >1913 _Newark [N.J.] Evening Star_ (Aug. 4) 2: Nibble, Nibble, Ishkabibble
>>  >
>>  >1913 _Sheboygan Press_ (Sept. 23) 3: The Ish-ga-bibble bowling team
>>  >defeated Freddy Heerman's Colts 2 out of 3 games on the North Side Alleys
>>  >last night.
>>  >
>>  >1913 _Age-Herald_ (Birmingham, Ala.)  (Sept. 28) 8:  ISH-KABIBBLE?
>>  >Forst's Everybody's Shoe Store  Why Should You ISH-KABIBBLE?  If you will
>>  >come to Everybody's Shoe Store we will show you why you shouldn't
>>  >ISH-KABIBBLE!   [Photo.] This is the man who will Ish-Kabibble For You
>>  >Everybody's shoe store has the has the merchandise to prevent anyone from
>>  >Ish-Kabibbling.  For an explanation come to Forst's ... ISH-KABIBBLE?
>>  >
>>  >  Something was happening in 1913....
>>  >
>>  >JL
>>  >
>>  >"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the
>>  truth."
>>  >
>>  >------------------------------------------------------------
>>  >The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>>  ------------------------------------------------------------
>>  The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>
>
>
>--
>"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>
>------------------------------------------------------------
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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