Jess in Ukraine asks…

So I was sitting with a friend today and we wondered: What is the origin of “Putting the Kabash on something” ?
After Googling it we came up empty and I thought either you or one of the readers might know

Anyone have any ideas or know of any phrase history websites?

4 thoughts on “Jess in Ukraine asks…

  • 10/30/2009 at 9:56 am

    I think it’s spelled Kibosh, which is probably why you found nothing. But, everywhere says it’s “of unknown origin” though there are some speculations.

  • 10/30/2009 at 10:10 am

    from Ben:

    kibosh (alternately, kybosh)
    ‘To put the kybosh on’ is to do for something, finish it off, or simply to end it or terminate it. The OED says the origin is obscure and possibly Hebrew Yiddish, but it may be from the Irish an chaip bháis, ‘the cap of death’. a reference to the English practice of “Tar Capping” Irish rebel prisoners, pouring hot tar on their heads and then ripping the hardened tar off. [2] or cabáiste, cabbage [3].



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