Heebie-jeebies

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

3 comments on this post.
  1. Nigel Crompton:

    The term ‘heebie-jeebie’ is often attributed to Billy de Beck in 1923. This is probably correct for the whole term. However, the term ‘jeebie’ comes from a native American term noted by Longfellow in his glossary of term in the poem ‘Hiawatha’. He says it means ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit’. Check out the book.

  2. Kate Person:

    The word Jee’bi is Ojibawa for ghost. Wondering if this somehow influenced the phrase.

  3. Laura:

    Nigel Crompton wrote on July 16, 2009, “The term ‘heebie-jeebie’ is often attributed to Billy de Beck in 1923. This is probably correct for the whole term. However, the term ‘jeebie’ comes from a native American term noted by Longfellow in his glossary of term in the poem ‘Hiawatha’. He says it means ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit’. Check out the book.”
    I think the term is pejorative against the religious movement in 1906 and long afterward, which was widely publicized in L.A. news papers for years afterward. It was supposedly a move of the Holy Ghost, in which people used glossolalia and shook violently. Their actions looked like the definition of the word and was in the news papers and song (Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five) near the time of the movement’s popularity in California, growing across the nation.

Leave a comment