Yiddish (< Hebrew) origin
OED online states "Origin obscure.(It has been stated to be Yiddish or Anglo-Hebraic: see N. & Q. 9th ser. VII. 10.)". That's the only etymology given. (On a personal note, I've only heard this term used by my Jewish family and friends.)--22.214.171.124 07:09, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
World Wide Words
I moved the following quotation out of the entry as it isn't a good use, or even a use of this spelling, and its etymological suggestions are bunk and only likely to confuse users. - -sche (discuss) 02:33, 28 June 2014 (UTC)
"Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street", written by George Dibden Pitt in 1842 for the Britannia Theatre, Hoxton, at Act 3, Scene 2:
JARVIS WILLIAMS (to the Keepers of a madhouse at Peckham): "Stand off you cowardly rascals, or I'll put the 'kiebosh' on the whole consarn."
JONAS: "The 'kiebosh'?"
JARVIS WILLIAMS: "Yes, it's a word of Greek extraction, signifying the upset of the apple-cart - so - bunk!"
JARVIS WILLIAMS: "Yes, that's another Greek word, and means G.O., go."
The relevant Dickens quote is:
‘What do you mean by hussies?’ interrupts a champion of the other party, who has evinced a strong inclination throughout to get up a branch fight on her own account (‘Hooroar,’ ejaculates a pot-boy in parenthesis, ‘put the kye-bosk on her, Mary!’), ‘What do you mean by hussies?’ reiterates the champion.
- in the 'Seven Dials' scene in 'Sketches By Boz' (1836)