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Barbara Yung Ying at Minsky’s Burlesque in Newark at the Adams Theater

My father was born in Union City, NJ, and lived his first few years in Newark, so that might be a reason why he kept this ad, in addition to the fact Barbara Yung-Ying must have been one of the few Asian burlesque dancers in the 50s. Read more info about Minsky’s.

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Skosh Word Origin

Skosh, Sukoshi
Skosh, Sukoshi, from Pacific Stars and Strips sometime in the 1940s or 1950s during the Occupation of Japan

Origin of the word “Skosh”

The currrent assumption is that the word was brought over from Japan during the postwar era, when the US occupied Japan. People returning from the Occupation would know a little bit of Japanese.

The above picture from Pacific Stars and Stripes, a military newspaper, had a column, Japanese n a Hurry, teaching Japanese to military foreigners working in Japan. I found this in my family collection of random paper from the past. If you’re interested in this kind of think, you can dig around this website. I sell some of the stuff online, and at zombiesoftheinformationsociety.com.

“Skosh” Pronunciation

The borrowed word rhymes with “squash”.

The Japanese pronunciation is su-koh-shee. It’s three syllables. As you say it faster, it sounds like s’kohshi. Japanese doesn’t have any accents, and each syllable gets the same emphasis.

“Skosh” Etymology

スコシ, 少し, すこし

I was unable to find the etymology of the words. Using the online translators at Bing and Google, most attempts to translate ended up finding words, around Asia, that sounded more like the Japanese word “chotto”. Turkish and Indonsian translations had “s” sounds: küçük, sedikit.