"Ish Ga Fret" (I should worry) in 1914 baseball article

Sam Clements sclements at NEO.RR.COM
Mon Sep 8 05:13:59 UTC 2003

If what Evan Morris says about there being a 1913 popular song by Sam Lewis
called "Isch Gabibble" is the theory that Green and Chapman hold, then my
searching of ancestry.com would confirm that the song popularized the term.

I searched from 1908-1913 using "ga bibble" "ki bibble" "ka bibble."  I got
zero hits 1908-1912.  In 1913, I got hits from Modesto(CA) for "ich ka
bibble," from Whichita Falls(TX) for "I-sha-ga-bibble"(in a furniture store
ad), Sheboygan(WI) "Ish-ga-bibble" (the bowling team!)

Can you imagine how they would have mangled "Danke Schoen" if IT had been
the 1913 hit!

----- Original Message -----
From: "Douglas G. Wilson" <douglas at NB.NET>
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2003 12:45 AM
Subject: Re: "Ish Ga Fret" (I should worry) in 1914 baseball article

> There are various notions as to the origin of "ish-kabibble" (e.g., in
> Green's dictionary ... and Chapman's [same notion] ... and Partridge's
> [different one]). I don't know whether any of these is substantiated or
> even plausible. If the phrase has been heavily mangled, then the
> "ish"/"ich" may be spurious along with the rest. If the phrase has not
> so severely altered, then someone familiar with German dialects could
> perhaps make a good guess. I am ignorant of such things, so I can make
> a silly wild speculation, viz. that "ga" could be "gah" = "gehe" = English
> "go". The "bibble" might could = German "bibbern" (= "jitter" in English),
> and perhaps the whole construction is 'future' or something similar, with
> "gehen" as an 'auxiliary'. Another possibility (?): "ga" = German "gar",
> just an intensifier. Either way the expression would be sarcastic,
> analogous but not exactly equivalent to the above expression with
> And of course the "ga" could also be the "ge-" customary in German past
> participles etc. ... but then what's the "bibble"?
> -- Doug Wilson

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