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.