One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Persian tobacco pipe with a long tube that draws the smoke through water; a hookah.
pipe, water pipe, hubble-bubble, chillum, narghileView synonyms
- ‘The sleek-looking spice merchant was smoking kalian after kalian in dreamy contemplation of his assistant waiting on customers.’
- ‘They will sip sherbets, drink syrupy tea, smoke kalians, and gossip incessantly.’
- ‘I had smoked a kalian once before, though not very successfully.’
- ‘They want to know whether the people smoke kalians and ride horses.’
- ‘A guest, if he does not bring his own pipe and pipe-bearer, has a kalian offered to him.’
Mid 19th century: Persian ḳalyān, from Arabic ġalayān ‘bubbling up, boiling’; compare with calean.
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