Originally Posted by Mold
So if shisha = hookah where did hookah come from? is it just a synonym?
Hookah is the westernization of the Hindi word for waterpipe. Hookah became the dominant word used in the US because that's what the British used. Hubbly bubbly is another common name for hookah in India.
Shisha means glass and is the name used for hookahs in countries in the Southern Mediterranean area, ie Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, etc. Narghile (meaning coconut) is the name used more in Eastern/Northern Mediterranean countries like Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, etc. There are also some other less commonly used names for hookah like ghalyoon which is used in Iran.