bobolition ety ?

Douglas Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Jun 17 00:11:54 UTC 2008

 Neither DAE nor DA give any attempt at an etymology. 
 ...bolition, -ist is clearly from (a)bolition, -ist. 
 The nub is where does bo- come from.  Perhaps from a West African
 I surely doubt it.
 The word was apparently originally used in a humorous/derogatory
manner in an imitation or satire of imagined 'black' dialectal usage,
AFAIK (maybe I'm wrong; I don't know much about this). Anyone can
speculate as well as I about various possible pejorative or jocular
English etyma. There may also be a possibility of a less exciting
origin of the initial "b[o]-" (such as "Boston"?).
 Is the medial -a- variant (i.e. bobalition) influenced by the
 initial vowel?
 I suspect it's more-or-less arbitrary.
 There are also some instances  of the spelling "babolition".
 I see also a very few instances of "babalation"  etc. ... but
apparently not in the same sense ... maybe = "hubbub" or so?
 -- Doug Wilson  

The American Dialect Society -

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