ISH KABIBBLE Back in the day, I heard the expression, “ Oh, Ish Kabibble.” It’s a silly phrase, and one that nudges a smile to delight your lips. It was used as a way of saying, “Oh, C’mon.“ as in Oh, C’mon; you don’t expect me to believe that, do you?”
Or if someone were to prepare for a trip and was stumped as to what else to add to the suitcase, they might say in frustration, “Oh, Ish Kabibble!”
Those were the “go to” words to denote something absurd, something confusing, or something considered plain old nonsense.
Uttering the words, “Ish Kabibble” was frequently the term used. Everyone seemed to understand the phrase by context and by battering of the eardrums interpreting this silly term.
So imagine my shock one day at the hairdresser’s, hearing one of the clients say, “Ish Kabibble was a real person: did you know that?” I had to know what she was talking about as she became beautiful-ized at Salon D’Karant.
On her way out I stopped her. “Excuse me, but would you mind telling me about Ish Kabibble? I’m sorry for eavesdropping, but I heard you mention it a few minutes ago.” She was more than pleased to enlighten me.
“There was an orchestra leader named Kaye Kyser back in the 40’s who had a comedian appearing with him named Ish Kabibble. How do you suppose his friends referred to him? if a lull in the conversation forms Ish, or Mr. Kabbible, played the coronet with the orchestra but mainly told jokes. The audiences loved him. He was a funny looking gentleman, like Moe of the Three Stooges; the one with the hair cut into bangs, hanging over his forehead.”
The memory of him must have been pleasant, because describing him brought such an animated expression to her face.
So now if a lull in the conversation forms I have some new small talk to make with any AARP ( American Association of Retired people) member I may run across. To a person above a certain age I ask, “Did you ever hear of “Ish Kabibble?”
And that starts a whole new dialogue.
Comments on: "ISH KABBIBLE" (34)
Oh, wow! Heard this from my parents a lot, growing up. Who knew? I thought your image WAS of Moe!
I had no idea it was a person. What a surprise!
Never heard of it. But then, that’s why I love reading your blog. Some things are news to me. Thanks for bringing this up.
Uzo, it’s probably something only older people would have heard of. And I doubt if that expression ever made it to Nigeria.
I’d never heard this expression or knew the comedian. So I looked him up via Google.
This is what Wikipedia says: Ish Kabibble was a comedian and cornet player. Born Merwyn Bogue in North East, Pennsylvania, he returned to Erie, Pennsylvania with his family a few months after his birth.
Thank you, Ronnie, for the delightful phrase and story. 😉
I only heard the expression: never knew it was a real person.
I heard that expression when I was younger and never knew what it meant. So, thanks for the info. I hope you are healing well.
Thank you for your healing wishes.
I was as surprised as you were to find out it was somebody’s name.
Well, till I read this post, this phrase, ‘Ish Kabibble’ was not a part of my ‘knowing’ universe.
Great post though I remain unsure whether some person could have such a name.
I’m sure the name was made up to get attention and was not a real name,but a stage name.
You’ll be the center of attention. Oh, but then again, you always are!
Oh Ish Kabibble. Love it. Am going to use this at every opportunity today and tomorrow… 🙂
never heard that used in our part of the world… but we do have a few of our own… one of my favourites…. eish … (Used in South African English and Afrikaans to express exasperation or disbelief. The word was first transliterated from the Xhosa language to Afrikaans, and then into South African English.)
It’s interesting that the Xhosa language has the same “ish” sound to express exasperation or disbelief. I find that sound very annoying.
somehow in our house it became…. Oh Shish Kabob!
How interesting; do you think your shish kebob had is origins in Ish Kabibble?
I remember hearing the phrase, but I had no idea that was an actual person. You learn something new every day 🙂
Yes, and some of the facts you learn are pretty bizarre.
I do remember people using that phrase – ish kabibble – but had no idea there was a real person involved. Funny story and thanks for sharing.
Who would ever think that such a strange expression was actually a person’s name? That’s why I had to speak to that woman at the hairdressers.
It was always a strange sounding phrase, but to think it was a real person was not even in the realm of possibility.
This all sounds familiar to me. Do you believe me? Or are you thinking, “Ish Kabibble!”
As you might tell a patient, don’t worry about what I think; what do YOU think?
I’m thinking, “I’m glad I know you here, Ronnie!”
I’m glad you’re glad.
Well, that’s one way to have your name live on! Maybe we need to revive it. I’ve never heard of it before, but it does flow off the tongue nicely. 🙂
You have so many followers that if you wanted to revive it you could have instant gratification.
I recall a German guy in my high school geometry class who usually gave the wrong answer. After the teacher corrected him he would respond by saying “Herr Ish Kabibble”. I always thought he was referring to Goebbel’s propaganda campaign.
I always wondered what Ish was Kabbibling about…
Has anyone wondered what Andrew was carp(entry)ing about?
Neither did I; but I do remember the expression, “Oh, Ish Kabibble.”
Fascinating.. never knew.
Now you can add this name to the list of characters in your next play!