Yiddish: Lobus

Bartocus123

Senior Member
Spanish - Castellano
Hi!

I would like to know what is the etymology of "lobus" (little monster in Yiddish).



Thanks in advance!
Bartocus ;)
 
  • berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Than the Polish word is probably the origin (rather than the other way round). The word is unlikely to be of German and with this spelling certainly not of Hebrew or Aramaic origin. And those are, together with Polish (or other Slavic or Baltic languages or Hungarian, depending on the variety of Yiddish) the prime suspects.
     
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    Bartocus123

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Castellano
    Very interesting... I've only just found this 'explanation':

    'Lobuz' is a very common Yiddish borrowing from an equally common Polish
    word whose meaning covers a fairly wide spectrum of mild to serious
    misbehaviour. 'Der kleine lobuz' could be "the little rascal", while
    'der groise lobuz' is "the scoundrel". It is not mentioned in
    Weinreich's dictionary.
     

    Frank06

    Senior Member
    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)
    Hi,

    Does anybody have an idea about the etymology of the Polish word?

    Groetjes,

    Frank
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    I haven't the faintest idea about the etymology of łobuz, but I doubt that its origin is Slavic - it doesn't ring a bell; but I'm unable to confirm as I don't have a Polish etymological dictionary at hand. (Online resources are rather scarce.)

    Baltic is a possibility but I know even less about Baltic. My guess would have been that it should be a Yiddish loan, but berndf already discounted this above.
    Another possibility would be German Rotwelsch (thieves' argot) which has changed Yiddish loans phonetically so that a Hebrew word might have changed on its way through Yiddish > Rotwelsch > Polish significantly enough to not being any more recognisable as Hebrew.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    Baltic is a possibility but I know even less about Baltic. My guess would have been that it should be a Yiddish loan, but berndf already discounted this above.
    Another possibility would be German Rotwelsch (thieves' argot) which has changed Yiddish loans phonetically so that a Hebrew word might have changed on its way through Yiddish > Rotwelsch > Polish significantly enough to not being any more recognisable as Hebrew.
    For Polish loans from Yiddish the indirection via Rotwelsch doesn't make much sense. This is relevant only for German loans from Yiddish. Before WWII more than 10% of the population in Poland was Yiddish speaking. Loans in both directions were direct. But in Yiddish you have much more loans than the other way round. If it where a loan from Yiddish (which I still doubt) it had to be from German or neighboring Eastern European languages. There is no absolutely no way לאָבעס could be from Hebrew or Aramaic. The spelling is Yiddish and not Hebrew or Aramaic and Yiddish never "rewrote" Hebrew or Aramaic words into Yiddish native spelling (in this case ע representing "e" and אָ representing "o").

    Of course it could be imported into Polish from Yiddish, lost in Yiddish and then reimported from Polish. But that is very far fetched.:D

    I now too little about Polish to voice an opinion where it could come from if not from Yiddish.
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Well, Polish mainly took loans from German and other Slavic languages but not from Baltic (far as I know) - after all Polish was the prestige language at the times of the Lithuanian-Polish kingdom. There are also plenty of French loans.

    But łobuz don't looks Slavic to me - and I can't see a Germanic or Romance root in this word either (if anything then the latter - Latin "lupus - wolf" probably??); Baltic is a possible but I wouldn't consider it very likely.
    Pity, but I can only guess here.
     

    SuryaArya

    New Member
    But łobuz don't looks Slavic to me - and I can't see a Germanic or Romance root in this word either (if anything then the latter - Latin "lupus - wolf" probably??); Baltic is a possible but I wouldn't consider it very likely.
    Pity, but I can only guess here.
    Here is what Brückner said about łobuz:
    (Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego, p. 310)

    łobuzie (15. wiek), 'zarosłe', łabuzie, łobozg, 'zielsko, chwasty'; »w błocie, łabuziu i trzcinie*, »lichym łabuziskiem*; słowo dziś za­ pomniane, ocalało w nazwie łobuza, 'ulicznika', łobuzować (się). Postać zmienna, tak co do pnia, jak i co do przyrostka, np. Marcin z Urzę­ dowa pisze: »w Labuziu* (t.j . ła­ buziu), W. Potocki: » rzucane w łobazie dziecko*, »grzechów łobazy*. Słowo istnieje tylko u nas i na Rusi, tam oznacza i wszelakie 'przy­ bory z plecionek'/ a wkońcu i całe 'budy, kramy', łabaznik 'handlarz zbożem czy mąką'. Nazwy: Łoboz; Łobzów, Łobżenica. Łobuz o 'uliczniku' całkiem dowolne (por. lampart). Pień łab-, łob- (por. wyżej łabaj?) znamy zresztą z serb. i czes. lábati, 'chłeptać, łykać', słowień. lábotati, 'paplać'; rus. łaboz, 'pochlebca', łabzit', 'schlebiać'; cerk. łobzati, czę­ stotliwe łobyzati, 'całować'.
    As much as I can understand Polish, Brückner says that łobuz means 'hooligan, rascal, a street urchin' (cf. Slvn. hlapec 'urchin', Serb. klipan). This sounds to me as if it is close to Serbian lopuža/lupež 'scamp, rascal, thief' and these two words (łobuz and lopuža) may be closely related. It could possible be somehow connected to Latin lupus (Brückner mentioned lampart 'leopard'?). He also mentions Serbian and Czech lábati 'slurp, gulp', but I couldn't find that word neither in Czech nor in Serbian; althogh there is a Serbian word lapati 'slurp' (from halapljiv 'piggish, voracious', halapljivac 'glutton', h/alav 'greedy', po-hlepan 'greedy') and that word(s) may be linked to lopuža/lupež 'rogue, thief, rascal'. It also seems that Serbian lapati 'slurp' and lapiti 'steal' are closely related to Greek κλέπτω 'to steal'.

    Finally, Brückner compares Russian лабоз/laboz 'flatterer, sycophant', but I think it can hardly be directly related to Polish łobuz, albeit, for example, Serbian laskati 'flatter' (from oblizati, lizati 'lick') appears to be related to lisica 'fox' and lasica 'weasel'.

    I forgot to mention that Serbian ala (hala 'dragon, monster, demon'), possible from alav/halav or halapljiv 'greedy', might be the same "little monster" as Yiddish lobus. Ala is an extremely voracious creature that eats people and whatever it finds in its neighborhood.
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    As much as I can understand Polish, Brückner says that łobuz means 'hooligan, rascal, a street urchin' (cf. Slvn. hlapec 'urchin', Serb. klipan). This sounds to me as if it is close to Serbian lopuža/lupež 'scamp, rascal, thief' and these two words (łobuz and lopuža) may be closely related.
    That's not how etymology works.
    From the meaning of the Polish word there is no way to directly link "łobuz" to Serbian "lopuža": the main objection is that historical voiced /b/ remains voiced both in Serbian and Polish, so you'd need a very good argument why in this case Serbian should devoice that sound to /p/ in this word.

    And while it is not impossible that this could be the case here we should suppose that "łobuz" and "lopuža" are no cognates as long as there isn't clear evidence, especially as even Brückner only suggests possible cognates with voiced /b/: so better let's completely reject the "lopuža" "relation" as folk etymology.

    The most relevant parts of your quote of Brückner, in my opinion, is "łobuzie (15. wiek), 'zarosłe', łabuzie, łobozg, 'zielsko, chwasty'" - that is, words referring to weeds and their vital growth; it is possible to make the relation from "weeds" to "bad guy" of any kind which may become "monster" or whatever; still far-fetched, but so far the best suggestion we have.
    However, we still don't know the correct etymology of "łobuzie" and its supposed cognates; I couldn't find any words in other Slavic languages which possibly could be related to this. (That is, the ones you mentioned aren't convincing me at all. More than just a few occasional semantic similarities - or more correctly, very far fetched ones at that - would be necessary.)

    Brückner's suggestions at the end of your quote don't sound too convincing to me, here I agree with you, except possibly for "лабоз" (Vasmer): however, Vasmer don't mentions a relation to the Polish word.

    I forgot to mention that Serbian ala (hala 'dragon, monster, demon'), possible from alav/halav or halapljiv 'greedy', might be the same "little monster" as Yiddish lobus.
    That might well be the case but I don't see how this should be relevant to the original topic of this thread.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Can't it be related to German Lausbub? Same meaning, similar sound.
    Well, it is a possibility, if also quite far-fetched. I could imagine that Polish "łobuz" was a mishearing of German "Lausbub" at an early stage of Polish linguistic development when modern "ł" still was pronounced [l] (it is pronounced [w] in modern Polish).

    But that too, obviously, can't be more than just guesswork, historical documents would be necessary to sustain such an etymology.
     

    Kurtchen

    Senior Member
    German - Norddeutschland
    Bit of a stab in the dark, etymology not being my forte: from the Wiki entry for Lorbass:

    De Naam Lorbass kummt ut dat Oostpreußsche un bedüüdt Dögenix, Lümmel. In dat Oostpreußsche is dat ut dat Litausche kamen, vun liurbas (Dögenix).
    Can't vouch for the veracity of the above (this is wiki-p after all) but I remember my late grandparent's nextdoor neighbors who were Vertriebene from Insterburg would often call me Lorbass rather unendearingly. It's not part of (my native) Pommersch Platt either. :)
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    From Polish etymological dictionary page 310:
    “łobuzie (15. wiek), 'zarosłe', łabuzie,” - a shortened translation:
    łobuzie (15. century), (łabuzisko – an augmentative) something grown with weeds > łobuz – a street urchin. In Ruthenia the word means wicker products (baskets and alike). The name łobuz for a street urchin is a completely arbitrary given name, with no logic attached (can also be called ‘lampart’ [leopard]). Stem łab-, łob-, Serbian (or may be should be Sorbian) and Czech lábati (to swallow), Russian łaboz (flatterer), OCS: łobzati, /łobyzati, 'to kiss'.
     

    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    berndf, in yiddish they use alef,ayin,he,vav,yud as vowels for a e u i o. So origins of words can be from hebrew and be writen weird, noah with seven mistakes is a great example of that.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    berndf, in yiddish they use alef,ayin,he,vav,yud as vowels for a e u i o. So origins of words can be from hebrew and be writen weird, noah with seven mistakes is a great example of that.
    Those would be mistakes by semi-literates. Hebrew or Aramaic words you don't insert un-etymological 'aleph or `ayin to transcribe a and e respectively. 'Aleph=a (or o when carrying a Kamatz) could be etymological but the `ayin=e in לאָבעס is implausible for Hebrew or Aramaic words.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Lobuz is definitely a word in Polish which means a little rascal in most contexts. It is not a derogatory word: it is used as a word of endearment in reference to children, friends, usually male friends, I would think. I doubt it is a loan from Yiddish. I cannot think about too many loans from Yiddish which are used in modern Polish. The process usually went in the opposite direction, I think. There are a lot of Polish loans in Yiddish. Lobuz or lobuziak could perhaps come from buzia, buzka which means a little face. I am not sure if this etymology would be valid. There is one word slightly similar in Lithuanian, which sounds similar: lobis, and it means treasure. I do not know if they can be connected in any way. I doubt it comes from German, though. There are not too many loans in Polish from Baltic languages. Maybe it comes from Latin, but I cannot think about a word it could be related to. It sounds like it could come from Latin. Maybe somebody who knows Latin better than me could comment on this.
     

    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    I didnt talk at all about the word here in question, was just noting to that alef = a ,ayin = e, vav = o, double vav = u, yud = i.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Well, have you read the quotation from Bruckner's etymological dictionary a couple of posts above? I don’t understand the intentions of your post. Do you wish to refute Bruckner’s etymology?
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    After further analysis, I think the word can also come from the old Slavic word which means bush, weed. I think lobuz can be somebody compared to a weed in the society in its original meaning, an outcast. If the previous post referred to my post, the answer is: I can refute whatever I want to refute, if I have feasible alternatives.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    After further analysis, I think the word can also come from the old Slavic word which means bush, weed. I think lobuz can be somebody compared to a weed in the society in its original meaning, an outcast. If the previous post referred to my post, the answer is: I can refute whatever I want to refute, if I have feasible alternatives.
    No, you can try to refute, but if you actually want manage to refute something you have to have good arguments.
     

    berndf

    Moderator
    German (Germany)
    I didnt talk at all about the word here in question, was just noting to that alef = a ,ayin = e, vav = o, double vav = u, yud = i.
    Double-vav is "v" as in Modern Hebrew. Single vav is usually "u" but can also be "o" except in front of yod where it is always "o" (vav-yod="oi"). In YIVO standard vav="o" is avoided (except in front of yod) and aleph-kamatz is preferred to represent "o".
     

    koniecswiata

    Senior Member
    Am English
    Apparently the Polish word "Balwan" (snowman) is a of Hebrew origin. This is the only such example I can think of--and I don't have access to an etomological dictionary at the moment. So, there is ONE such word (Hebrew to Polish), besides various biblical terms and names.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Apparently the Polish word "Balwan" (snowman) is a of Hebrew origin. This is the only such example I can think of--and I don't have access to an etomological dictionary at the moment. So, there is ONE such word (Hebrew to Polish), besides various biblical terms and names.
    This was a question about a Yiddish word, not a Hebrew one. Yiddish and Hebrew are not the same. Do you think balwan is related somehow to lobus?
     

    koniecswiata

    Senior Member
    Am English
    Obviously, balwan is not related to lobus. I only mentioned this as an example of a Hebrew (probably via Yiddish) entering Polish as an example of something that actually seems to have happened--since generally, Polish words have gone into Yiddish, and not Hebrew or Yiddish words gone into Polish.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Apparently the Polish word "Balwan" (snowman) is a of Hebrew origin. This is the only such example I can think of--and I don't have access to an etomological dictionary at the moment. So, there is ONE such word (Hebrew to Polish), besides various biblical terms and names.
    The meaning “snowman” is relatively new for the word “bałwan”. Originally this word meant an idol in Polish (a sculpture representing a pagan deity). This meaning was still very alive in the XIX century, and quite well known in the XXth. Do you know the full etymological explanation of the word “bałwan”?
     

    Malcolm Dale

    New Member
    English (England)
    I know the word and of course the yiddish spelling is Lamed Beit Samech (no vowels) so your guess is as good as mine. I understood the word to mean lazy good-for-nothing as in the following poem:

    The boy stood on the burning deck, his mother called him Lobus

    Because he wouldn't wash his neck and go to shul on shabbas.

    Hope this helps!
     

    chasidah18

    New Member
    English
    Interesting that the word lobus in english is actually a moth. Therefore, perhaps if a person is a lobus it means they're a pest!
     
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