george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Fri Dec 17 19:33:37 UTC 2004
> Quinion (http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/kibosh.htm)
> attributes this etymology without citation to the Irish poet Padraic
> Colum joined the Gaelic League about age 20
> whether or not he could even speak the language, he probably knew
> Irish than 98% of the members of this list, and certainly more than
all of us
> in this thread so far put together.
GAT: Where is Prof. Cassidy now that we really need him?
George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.
"We have seen the best of our time. Machinations, hollowness,
treachery, and all ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our
graves." King Lear, Act 1, scene 2 (Gloucester speaking).
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark A. Mandel" <mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU>
Date: Friday, December 17, 2004 12:05 pm
Subject: Re: Kibosh
> [Sam Clements:]
> >> 1. Has anyone put forth a good reason why it COULD NOT HAVE come
> >> from the Gaelic "cie bas" = "black cap" theory?
> [Doug Wilson:]
> > As far as I can tell the purported Irish etymon might be "caipin
> báis"> = "cap of death" or so, and maybe there's a short form of
> "caipin" like
> > "caip" to make the thing phonetically plausible, I don't know.
> At a glance
> > I don't see any relevant word like "cie". The various spellings and
> > glosses given suggest that most of us don't know much about
> Irish (I
> > surely don't).
If he said that that was a phrase in
> Gaelic, I'm
> willing to accept it on his authority until counterevidence appears.
> [Doug, cont'd:]
> >I don't know that I've ever seen any quotation from any time showing
> > this used in Irish; maybe it's a genuine expression, but this is
> one of
> > those stories that goes around without any supporting citations.
> As long as
> > no etymology has been established, all conjectures are
> permissible, some
> > more likely than others may[ ]be.
> Amen. "Why couldn't it be?" can be said of anything. I once asked
> a Chasidic
> rabbi how he could believe certain superstitions, such as always
> of your nail clippings lest some evil person use them to make
> magic against
> you. His answer was, approximately, "Nothing in Torah [here = 'Old
> Testament'] has been disproved or ever can be. Rabbinical opinions
> such as
> that one are in theory subject to scientific disproof, but it has
> not been
> disproved, and I hold it as valid and true." -- I do not.
> [Sam, cont'd:]
> >> 2. Why is the word "bosh" NOT related to "kibosh?" I
> understand that
> >> "bosh" is supposedly from the Turkish. But why couldn't it
> have been
> >> related to "kibosh?" The close timeframe of such related terms
> would>> seems to be made to order for their being related. I know
> this isn't a
> >> sufficient reason for them to be related, but, they COULD be.
> At least,
> >> IMHO.
> [Doug, cont'd:]
> > I think it is said that "bosh" came (not from the Turkish spoken by
> > some Turks at a London coffee-shop but) from a certain novel.
> Without a
> > special source such as that novel, Turkish origin of an
> arbitrary English
> > word would usually be a priori unlikely, I think. Again, various
> > conjectures can be entertained, until the truth comes to light.
> Since my
> > knowledge of Turkish is slightly less than my knowledge of Irish
> > such a thing is possible), I won't make any remarks on possible
> > etyma.
> The Turkish *word* is reliable:
> [a. Turk. bosh empty, worthless; the word became current in Eng.
> from its
> frequent occurrence in Morier's novel Ayesha (1834), which was
> popular, especially in the ?Standard Novels? edition 1846.]
> 1. Contemptible nonsense, ?stuff?; trash; foolish talk or
> 2. int. Stuff and nonsense! Humbug!
> -- OED Online
> That doesn't prove it as etymon by this route or any other, but as
> far as it
> goes, a line of OED on Turkish is better than an uncited Colum on
> -- Mark A. Mandel
More information about the Ads-l