Where Did the Word Tobacco Come From?

When American Indians were showing European settlers how to smoke from a calumet, or peace pipe, they handed the white men the calumet and said, “Tobacco, tobacco!”

This was the Indian word for the “tube of the pipe,” which the Indians wanted the strangers to put into their mouths.

The Europeans thought that the Indians were calling the burning leaf by that name, and tobacco has been called tobacco ever since!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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