As we recently learned from a Lexicon Valley podcast, the Oxford English Dictionary defines the heebie-jeebies as “a feeling of discomfort, apprehension or depression … the jitters.” In 1923, the phrase was coined and popularized not through the radio or stage, but by Billy DeBeck. Of course! Wait, who? DeBeck was a cartoonist who penned Barney Google, a popular comic during the 1920s. It was so popular that songs were written about dear Barney, and the term heebie-jeebie in particular inspired a song called “Heebie-Jeebies” by Louis Armstrong. Him, you’ve heard of. That song in turn, inspired a short-lived dance craze called, you guessed it, the Heebie-Jeebie.
In the video above, we break down the steps of the Heebie-Jeebie so that you can … impress your friends.