[Ads-l] Origin of Kibosh

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Thu Oct 12 16:26:43 UTC 2017

Ads-l was invaluable for the initial discussion on the origin of 
put the kibosh on. Thank you to all who participated.
Might I now just clarify:
1) The etymology that Stephen, Matthew, and I develop and defend is
kibosh < kurbash (the Mideastern whip made from hippopotamus 
or rhinoceros hide).  When the ads-l discussion on kibosh ended
a few years ago, that etymology was still in doubt, but additional
information to support it has since arisen and is included in the
2) Credit for proposing the kurbash etymology goes to Stephen
Goranson and Matthew Little, who discovered it independently.
Stephen was the first to state it publicly (ads-l) and was also
the first to provide supporting evidence.
3) Over the past two years, Stephen, Matthew and I did quite a bit
of additional research on the expression, and so the book very
much represents a team effort.  The jury is still out, of course,
but the three co-authors believe that the mystery of the expression's
origin has been solved.

Gerald Cohen 

Original message from Stephen Goranson, Thursday, October 12, 2017: 

Given that American Dialect Society List was home to some of the discussion  that in part led to it--say, e.g., George Thompson writing "...the common  people have their own knowledge. Men from the cockney district may have been in Egypt & the Near East as soldiers or seamen, and seen the whip carried and used"-- some may be interested to know of a new publication:

Origin of Kibosh: Routledge Studies in Etymology

by Gerald Cohen, Stephen Goranson, and Matthew Little.

Routledge (Taylor & Francis). Hardback. Illustrated. ISBN 9781138628953



The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list