Originally Posted by Blaat
I don't speak about shisha in English at home, just here on hookahpro, so don't know what terms are exactly right.
Afaik if you speak about 'hookah' you speak about the pipe itself, and if you speak about shisha, you speak about the tobacco (hookah shisha)
Referring to tobacco as "Shisha" is popular in the states, but linguistically inconsistent with other parts of the world. This can lead to all kinds of fun confusion.
In most of the Arab world, the word Shisha (Meaning glass) refers to the pipe.
At some point along the line, Shisha tobacco (Tobacco for a shisha pipe) got shortened to just "shisha" and the name has stuck in the west.
The word "hookah" (Huqqa) is from India, and is the indian word for the pipe, that fell into common English usage during the British Raj. It is not the word they use in the mideast, where Shisha or Nargile refer to the pipe.
Isn't linguistics fun?