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)
Liberman on kurbash
In Etymology gleanings for November 2017, Liberman comments on the kurbash book:
- Do I believe that the riddle has been solved? Have the authors put the kibosh on the old crux, or has the solution they proposed joined the ghosts of the years past? "Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show," says Dickens in the preface to David Copperfield. The same holds for the derivation of kibosh from kurbash. I did not raise the immortal ghost in vain. For a long time, the earliest author who used kibosh (spelled kibosk) in print was Dickens. Attacks and counterattacks on the monograph will probably follow. The disagreement won’t diminish its value.
That is somewhat cryptic. The answer to David Copperfield's question was (spoiler alert) no, the hero[ine] was not David Copperfield but rather Agnes Wickfield; I'm not sure how that maps to the question of whether Liberman believes the riddle has been solved. "Raising the ghost" is another allusion to A Christmas Carol but not otherwise relevant as far as I can see. Jnestorius (talk) 17:30, 4 January 2018 (UTC)