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BOBE-MAYSE , Yiddish expression for a fantastic or incredible tale. The term is based on the title of the Yiddish chivalric romance that Elijah *Levita adapted from the Tuscan Buovo d'Antona (based on the original 14th-century Anglo-Norman Boeuve de Haumton). This work, popular among Ashkenazi Jews, originally appeared as Bovo D'Antona and was subsequently printed as *Bove-Bukh; in later *chapbook editions it was titled Bove-Mayse (mayse, "tale"). The similarity of Bove to Bobe (Yid. "grandmother") led to the substitution of Bobe-Mayse for Bove-Mayse, and to the use of the former expression for any "grandmother's tale" (i.e., incredible story), with no connection to the original romance.


Zedner, in: hb, 6 (1863), 22–23; Zedner, Cat, 94; N.B. Minkoff, Elye Bokher un Zayn Bove Bukh (1950) add. bibliography: Ch. Shmeruk, Prokim fun der Yidisher Literatur-Geshikhte (1988), 154–56.

[Sol Liptzin /

Jean Baumgarten (2nd ed.)]

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