Monday, June 26, 2006

Drinking Tobacco

In the last couple of days I’ve discovered the Biloxi used to say


yani(ksoni) įni
tobacco(pipe) drink

While at first the idea of "drinking" tobacco seemed odd, I’ve since discovered that it is not so unusual. I’m told that "drink" for smoke also occurs in Crow (another Siouan language), some eastern Algonquian languages, and even Japanese:


tabako wo nomu
tobacco OBJ drink

Anyone know of other languages that have this idea of "drinking" for smoking?

Update: It appears I can add Hindi and Egyptian Arabic to the above. Thanks for your feedback!

6 comments:

Nick Emlen said...

The Hindi word for smoking tobacco:

"Tumbako piina", literally "to drink tobacco".

arabicgeek-bot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
arabicgeek-bot said...

In Egyptian Arabic they say both "yišrab sagaayir", and "yidaxxan" both meaning "to smoke" but "yišrab sagaayir" literally means "to drink cigarettes”. http://thearabicgeek-bot.blogspot.com/

Dave said...

This is far more universally widespread than I thought! Cool.

montag said...

In a short story by Zakaria Tamir, a young man smokes a cigarette after escaping from the room where his parents sit.

The verb is " 'abba " and appears in dictionaries as "to gulp, to swallow in one draught" and gives me the idea of "chug-a-lug".

So in this occurrence, it gives me the image of a smoker taking long or rapid drags on a cigarette.

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

It also appears in Elizabethan English and Old English.

Jeffery Hodges

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