Heebie-Jeebies song: Discover the dance inspired by the Louis Armstrong song inspired by the Billy DeBeck comic.

You Might Know What the Heebie-Jeebies Are, but Can You Do the Heebie-Jeebie? (Video)

You Might Know What the Heebie-Jeebies Are, but Can You Do the Heebie-Jeebie? (Video)

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July 28 2015 10:59 AM

You’ve Got the Heebie-Jeebies

Otherwise known as the creeps or the jumps. But can you do the Heebie-Jeebie? 

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Screengrab via Slate

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.

Grace Na is a freelance producer/editor for Slate. You can see more of her work here.