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Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Hindustani حقہ / हुक़्क़ा (huqqā) and , in turn, derived from Arabic حُقَّة (ḥuqqa, pot, jar), from حُقّ (ḥuqq, cavity, hollow).[1][2]



hookah (plural hookahs)

  1. (recreational inhalants) A pipe with a long flexible tube that draws the smoke through water, traditionally used for smoking tobacco, which is often flavored.
    Synonyms: waterpipe, hubble-bubble, hubbly bubbly, narghile, shisha
    • 1831, The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction:
      In India, the lower orders use a hookah or hubble bubble, which is made of a cocoa-nut shell well cleaned out, having a hole through the soft eye of the shell, and another on the opposite side, a little lower down, the first of which is used for the chauffoir, and the other to suck or draw the smoke from.
    • 1890 February, A[rthur] Conan Doyle, “The Story of the Bald-headed Man”, in The Sign of Four (Standard Library), London: Spencer Blackett [], →OCLC, pages 66–67:
      Our new acquaintance very deliberately coiled up the tube of his hookah, and produced from behind a curtain a very long befrogged topcoat with Astrakhan collar and cuffs.
    • 1954, Alexander Alderson, chapter 18, in The Subtle Minotaur[1]:
      The lounge was furnished in old English oak and big Knole settees. There were rugs from Tabriz and Kerman on the highly polished floor. [] A table lamp was fashioned from a silver Egyptian hookah.
    • 1960 July 11, Harper Lee, chapter 9, in To Kill a Mockingbird, Philadelphia, Pa., New York, N.Y.: J[oshua] B[allinger] Lippincott Company, →OCLC:
      When Uncle Jack caught me, he kept me laughing about a preacher who hated going to church so much that every day he stood at his gate in his dressing-gown, smoking a hookah and delivering five-minute sermons to any passers-by who desired spiritual comfort.
  2. (diving) A tank-less surface air compressor pump and umbilical piping system that supplies air to a diving mask

Derived terms[edit]




  1. ^ hookah”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name), Online Etymology Dictionary, 2022:hookah (n.) also hooka, 1763, via Hindi or Persian or directly from Arabic huqqah "small box, vessel" (through which the smoke is drawn), related to huqq "a hollow place."
  2. ^ The Ceylon Antiquary and Literary Register, Volume 1, 1916, page 111:
    It has even drawn largely on English, and such words as daktar and platfarm, isteshan and tikat, trem-ghari and rel-ghari, registran karna and apil karna are as common as similar words are in Ceylon. To make up for it Hindustani has not only enriched the vocabulary of Anglo-Indian English with such words as topi and pugre, oheerot and hookah, dhoby and sepoy, ghary and tamasha, durbar and bukshish, Kachcheri and Punkah, but has contributed to it words like jungle, bazar, [and] loot.

Further reading[edit]