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BUPKIS

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BUPKIS

Postby Dr. Goodword » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:00 pm

• bupkis •

Pronunciation: bêp-kês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: (Slang) Absolutely nothing, diddly, squat, zip, zilch, nada.

Notes: Today's Good Word is another kindly donation from Yiddish heard mostly in the northern tier and western slab of the US. Since this is a slang word, spoken more than written, the spelling hovers around bupkiss, bupkes, bupkus, and bupkis or even bubkis. Bupkis seems to be the most widely used currently. This word is a lexical orphan, not even a bupkisness to parallel nothingness. It is just there, all but lost among the host of other slang alternatives to nothing.

In Play: We still hear this word more frequently in the Jewish community: "After pulling the company back from the brink of bankruptcy I didn't get diddly for my effort and my Jewish friend got bupkis." However, it has long since entered the general vocabulary: "Hadley is the greatest asset of the investment firm, but he isn't worth bupkis around the house."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from rather smelly origins. Its ultimate source is the Russian word bobok "bean". However, the sense of it that reached English is a reduction of the Yiddish word kozebupkes "goat pellets, droppings". This word, in turn, is a compound comprising the Russian words koza "goat" + bobki "little beans". The root koz- survives in the Slavic languages, where it did render up kozha "skin, hide", originally referring only to goat skin. Bob "bean" shares its origin with Latin faba "bean", which became Italian fava of fava bean fame after years of phonetic grinding. (Today we thank Rodger Collins for suggesting a word whose origin gets everyone's goat.)
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Postby Slava » Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:39 am

A fun word that has had many great comments posted previously:

www.alphadictionary.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=2048
www.alphadictionary.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=2323

I'm wondering about the negative with diddly, though. I've always used it in the positive: "I got diddly." Anyone care to chime in on this one?
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Postby LukeJavan8 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:23 pm

I got diddly.
This was common in kids' parlance when I was teaching.
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Re: BUPKIS

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:54 pm

I also fairly often "diddly squat." No clue wherre it comes from.
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Re: BUPKIS

Postby LukeJavan8 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:15 pm

Funny here:
It says Perry is online, but I am still offline, and I am now 25 minutes ONLINE>
Board management needs to do some fixing.

And one more time I am going to say: if it was not broken, why fix it????
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Re: BUPKIS

Postby Philip W Hudson » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:01 pm

Although I love words, this is one we can do without; along with "diddly" and "diddly squat", whatever their etymologies. My imagination provides enough etymology for these words, thank you very much.
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Diddly-Squat

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:14 pm

I could be offended by the suggestion that I missed such an intriguing word as "diddly-squat": http://www.alphadictionary.com/goodword/word/diddly-squat
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