Was gibt?

Posted by R. Berg on March 21, 2004

In Reply to: Was gibt? posted by Smokey Stover on March 21, 2004

: : : : : : Hi guys,
: : : : : : I have heard this so many times in many sitcoms.
: : : : : : I'd like to know wut that means. I did search on this word in your archives but only words related with "what" came up.

: : : : : : Thanks!

: : : : : Are you sure you weren't looking up "wut gives?"
: : : : : "What gives?" is slang, widely used as a conversation opener, meaning the same as "what's up?" or "what's happening?" or "what's new, how is the world treating you?"

: : : : For a scholarly article with more information than you asked for, see ling.ucsc.edu/ Jorge/joseph.html (link below).

: : Hello, it's R. BERG, and here's the link again. What gives, indeed?

: Geez, Bergie, do you actually read that stuff? I'm impressed. I read the article. I never realized that syntax could be so opaque. But I'm impressed. But tell me again why "What gives?" cannot be a calque (whatever that is) for Yiddish "Was gibt?" I'm a little slow. SS

I must be slower than you, because I didn't read the whole article. I'd read elsewhere that "What gives?" came from Yiddish, as a literal translation. Used Google to find something about it, copied the URL, slapped it in the link box, and went on my way.