[Ads-l] Kibosh update: Rejecting the Irish cap-of-death etymology

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Sun Apr 3 15:40:06 UTC 2022

The Oxford English Dictionary (3rd, online, edition) revised its treatment
of the etymology of kibosh a few years ago (an improvement), but
I would still have several observations on what is presented.
For now I will make just one: the Irish cap-of-death etymology
should not be given any credence at all.  OED3 regards it with justifiable
skepticism but does not reject it outright; and merely by listing the Irish
etymology, OED3 gives the impression that it is a possibility.

In Feb. 2020 I printed a co-authored Comments on Etymology item on
the subject and put it online through my campus. The link is:


or it can also be googled by typing in Revisit to kibosh, rejecting the
cap-of-death etymology.

Gerald Cohen
Co-author with Stephen Goranson and Matthew Little of the
book Origin of Kibosh (Routledge 2018)

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

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