"to look on at a card game and offer unwelcome advice," 1915, from Yiddish kibitsen "to offer gratuitous advice as an outsider," from German kiebitzen "to look on at cards, to kibitz," originally in Rotwelsch (thieves' cant) "to visit," from Kiebitz, name of a shore bird (European peewit, lapwing) with a folk reputation as a meddler, from Middle High German gibitz "pewit," imitative of its cry (see peewit). Young lapwings are proverbially precocious and active, and were said to run around with half-shells still on their heads soon after hatching. Related: Kibitzing. Also see kibitzer.
updated on May 31, 2020