June 3rd, 2004

mich

etymological moment

Our new lj user maffick got me to thinking again, with a comment of hers, about the word "shebang." Googling "shebang etymology," I found this site:

ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY

I like its fundraising approach: "Sponsor 'peace.' Give your boyfriend 'lust.' Show your appreciation for 'candy.' Sponsor a word, and help keep the Online Etymology Dictionary free and open."

The entry for the word in question:

shebang - 1862, "hut, shed, shelter," perhaps an alteration of shebeen. Phrase the whole shebang first recorded 1869, but relation to the earlier use of the word is obscure. Either or both senses may also be mangled pronunciations of Fr. char-�-banc, a bus-like wagon with many seats.