Shish Kebab line

I just read this comic from Doug Savage and it reminded me of shish kebab line in Monkey Island. It was one of those things I didn’t exactly get when playing as a teen, because I didn’t know what “shish” was. I knew kebab was some kind of food though. So now, after all these years, I decided to check what the hell shish kebab is, only to find out, it’s a very popular dish I always knew as “shashlik”. We had those even before all kebab places started to show up in Poland (and mosty they don’t serve shashliks). Did you get this line if you’re not from US?


Is this the joke with the names of the impaled people near the Great Monkey Head? Shish KeBob or something? In the German version of the game, the impaled person is called Schasch-Rick. Hehe…


I guess Poland doesn’t have too many Turkish immigrants? The traditional name is sjasliek but sjisj kebab has been a staple for all my life.

I think it’s just one of the sword insults. I’ll skewer you like a shish kebab or something.

I read that line in a second English playthrough, and by that time I was enough learned to get it. I wouldn’t, in my first playthrough. Luckily, my first playthrough was in Italian, and in that version the pun was translated: Guybrush named the impaled guy “spieDino”, which works quite good. “Dino” is obviously a name, while “spiedino” means “skewer”.


Actually, both are true. It’s one of the first two insults he learns (from Captain Smirk): “Soon you’ll be wearing my sword like a shish kebab”. Later in the game there’s a punch line with impaled guys Shish keBob and Shish keJoe. I think there’s a third one as well. Clever!


At time I was playing the game, we were just catching up on marvelous western civilisation inventions like hamburgers and ketchup. Turkish stuff came later, but to this day, I’ve never seen “shish kebab” anywhere. If anything, it’s always shashlik (written in Poland as “szaszłyk”), which I didn’t even knew was Turkish and has been around forever. “Shish kebab” to me will be forever something from Monkey Island.

Here’s the menu for my favorite Turkish restaurant (sis kebab, that’s şiş kebab without the cedille).

In French they call it chiche-kebab, in German schisch kebab. I’m more surprised that Americans know the term, actually. We invited over tons of Turks in the '50s and '60s; they didn’t.


I’m fairly certain the German version I played way back had that translated as Schaschlik as well.
Personally, I always thought of Schaschlik as a dish originating in eastern Europe, possibly Hungary because (a) it has the same sound to it as Goulasch and (b) the meat was usually combined with onions and peppers and a matching sauce so it always looked and tasted a bit like Goulasch on a stick.

Shish Kebab to me is something totally different than Schaschlik. There’s only meat on the stick, and no sauce. Much closer to the Greek Souvlaki. Also I’d put that on the grill whereas Schaschlik would go into a pan.

Turkish immigration in Italy is quite recent. The first time I had a Kebab it was in 2001, in Turkey, and I had heard about it only some months before, because of the first kebab shops in italy. Then it became quite popular, but in 1990, when I played MI, the closest thing I knew was Gyros Pita

This is what I think of, when I hear “kebab”.


And these are what I’ve always known as shashslik’s and have been around in Poland forever. From what I’ve read it’s either similar or the same thing as shish kebab.



In Dutch I would call that a döner. Which is short for something like döner kebab sandwich.

Kebab just means meat with a certain spice mix. :slight_smile:

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