Re: the word "bizbuz"

Daniel J. Pearson (dpears2@umbc.edu)
Thu, 2 Jan 1997 00:38:26 -0500 (EST)

Florence Amit <amit-1@actcom.co.il> wrote:
>I would be grateful if some member of the Forum would trace the Hebrew
>word "bizbuz", squander, for me and tell me when and where it began to
>appear in writings. My teacher of Yiddish culture says that the late 16th
>century is far to early and that I am misinterpreting hints of the word
>seen then.

I learned a little about this word this semester in Hebrew 201. I don't
know enough to tell you when exactly the word crept into the Hebrew
language, but I do know that 'bizbuz', like other four-letter verb roots,
is of foreign origin. If I am not mistaken, the original language is
Arabic.

BTW, all word roots of this type are distinct in that they are composed of
a 2 letter series repeated once. (Bet-Zayin, Bet-Zayin in the case of
'bizbuz'.)

Florence, you can try emailing my professor at <litov@umbc.edu> for more
details. And you can tell him how much I enjoyed his class.

Linguistically yours,
Daniel Pearson