Revision 1.0 (Last modified 5-April-94)
PIPE: Narrow tube of clay, wood, etc. with bowl at one end for drawing in smoke of tobacco. - Oxford English Dictionary
BRIAR: This is the closely-grained burl joint between the stem and roots of the White Heath, a tree found on the hillsides of mainly Mediterranean countries. Underground, this burl protects the briar wood, which is tough, close grained, porous, and nearly impervious to heat. Good briar is hard to find. The larger shrubs take a long time to mature...and the older the shrub the better the briar and thus your pipe. The most suitable root may be 80 to 100 years old, and the finest pipe briar may be from a shrub over 200 years old... aged and mellowed by time.
MEERSCHAUM: A German word meaning literally, "sea-foam," alluding to the belief that it was the compressed whitecaps of waves. Meerschaum is a mineral - hydrous silicate of magnesium - one of the most porous substances found in nature. Composed of the fossilized shells of tiny sea creatures that fell to the ocean floor millions of years ago, meerschaum is found in red clay deposits. Meerschaum deposits of the highest quality are found only in one place in the world - Eskishehir, in central Turkey.
AFRICAN BLOCK MEERSCHAUM comes from Tanzania, Africa and is usually stained in varying shades of brown, black and yellow.
MISSOURI MEERSCHAUM: The All-American Corncob pipe. It is a length of hollowed-out corncob, usually from a special hybrid variety of corn, with a straight wooden stem and, sometimes, a inexpensive plastic mouthpiece. Some veteran pipe smokers buy corncobs by the dozens, smoke one until it burns out or goes sour, then throw it away and light up another. (If a youngster uses yours to blow soap bubbles, buy another.)
CALABASH: A South African gourd similar to a squash grown specifically for use in pipes. The shape is determined as the gourd grows by placing small blocks under the stem, forcing it into a gentle curve. The mature gourd is cut and dried, then fitted with a cork gasket to receive a meerschaum bowl. The finished pipe offers one of the coolest, driest smokes available. Immortalized by Sherlock Holmes and in Jimmy Durante's signature line - "Good night Mrs. Calabash - wherever you are."
CLAY PIPE: Clay or pottery pipes were very popular in England and in Europe before the discovery of briar. In London coffee houses and clubs, long-stemmed "Church wardens" and "London Straws" were universally accepted. The finest clay for pipes is said to be found in Devon, England.
HOOKAH: Also known as a WATER-PIPE or occasionally HUBBLY-BUBBLY. The Turkish hookah filters the pipe smoke through water (or booz) for extra coolness. Many styles of hookah exist including those with multiple mouth pieces so that several may enjoy the tobacco (or hashish) simultaneously. The tobacco used in the hookah is usually dried whole leaf, soaked and crumbled, or canned, mixed with various herbs and flavors. The very moist tobacco is heaped into the bowl and covered with a small charcoal fire.
OPIUM PIPE: An Oriental water-pipe, normally made of brass with a very tiny bowl used for smoking opium. Opium pipes are frequently seen with 12 or 18 inch long stems and fancy braiding.
CAST IRON: Normally used to carry natural gas.
BOWL: The part of the pipe that holds the tobacco.
HEEL: The base of the inside of the pipe bowl.
SHANK: The part of the pipe that joins the bowl and the stem.
STEM: The part that connects the shank with the bit. Examine it carefully. Its quality, finish and fit will reveal the maker's carelessness or attention to detail.
BIT: The part of the pipe stem that fits in the mouth. Also called the MOUTHPIECE.
BITE-PROOF STEM: A bit designed with a solid center portion at the mouth to prevent the "canine" tooth from punching a hole in it as readily as is done in a standard bit.
AMBEROID STEM: A fusion of Bakelite and pure amber - usually used with meerschaum pipes.
BAKELITE STEM: Trade name for a synthetic resin widely used for lacquers and varnishes and as a plastic. A common material used for the stem, especially of mass produced pipes. An alternative to vulcanite.
AMBER: brittle, feels like glass to the teeth - Usually used with meerschaum pipes.
VULCANITE: A dark-colored variety of India rubber that has been subjected to vulcanization : also called "hard rubber." A common material used for the stem, especially of mass produced pipes.
LUCITE: Trade name for a plastic. A common material used for the stem, especially of mass produced pipes.
HORN STEM: Animal horn - often found on inferior meerschaum pipes
BONE STEM: Animal bone - often found on inferior meerschaum pipes
PIPE CLEANERS: Indispensable - two types - "soft and fluffy" to dry up moisture or "thin and wiry" to dig out deposits.
LIQUID PIPE CLEANERS: Also called PIPE SWEETENERS, dissolve the gum and tar while leaving a fresh aroma in the bowl, stem and mouthpiece. Frequently featured in the "Dennis the Menace" comic strip.
SMOKERS COMPANION: Also called MULTI-PURPOSE PIPE TOOL, a spoon, a pick, and a tamper in a metal holder. Usually built like a pocket knife, often accompanied by a "knife blade reamer."
PIPE REAMER: A tool for smoothing out the "cake" and trimming it down to a desired size. Reamers come in a variety of shapes and functionalities.
PIPE RACK: A storage place for your pipes. To most enjoy pipe smoking one needs several pipes to accommodate one's moods and activities.
HUMIDOR: A thing in which to store tobacco. Ideally - cheap and air-tight (try Tupperware) - one places fresh tobacco in it and once sealed, it will maintain the tobacco in a smokable consistency indefinitely. A major alternate use of a humidor is the "re-moistening" of dried out tobacco. For this action one adds a source of moisture to the tobacco in the humidor before sealing.
CAKE: A small layer of protective carbon allowed to form and remain in the bowl of a briar pipe. The cake protects the briar from burning but too much cake can split the pipe by causing uneven heating of the bowl.
DOTTLE: Unburned tobacco left in the heel of a pipe.
TONGUE BITE: Irritation of the tongue, usually caused by smoking tobacco that is too wet, or by puffing too hard.
MYOB: Acronym for "mind your own business." Suggested rejoinder to nasty antismokers who bother you for no conceivable reason.
SANDBLAST: A finishing technique which leaves a rough surface.
FILLS: Places where a wood filler has been used to smooth over surface defects. Generally regarded as lessening the pipe's value.
CARNAUBA WAX: A very hard wax, used to give pipes their finish.
STRAIGHT GRAIN: Refers to the wood grain in the briar.
BIRDSEYES: Small circles in the wood grain.
APPLE: A pipe with a rounded bowl, in the shape of an apple.
BENT: A curved stem pipe.
BILLIARD: A common shape. Straight stem, slightly rounded vertical bowl.
BULLDOG: A pipe with a round bowl and a pointed heel and shank.
CANADIAN: An unbent pipe with a long shank and a straight vertical bowl.
CHURCHWARDEN: A pipe with an extremely long stem.
DUBLIN: An Irish style, shaped after the clay pipe. Straight shank, bowl leans forward slightly.
FREEHAND: Also known as DANISH FREEHAND. An asymmetric, one-of-a-kind shape.
OOM PAUL: A large-boweled bent stemmed pipe name for the Boer leader who smoked this variety.
POKER: A cylindrical bowl and stem, without bend.
PRINCE: A squat, rounded bowl and a stem bent near the mouthpiece.
WOODSTOCK: The same as a DUBLIN with a slightly curved stem.
TOBACCO: A member of the plant family "Solanaceae" which also includes tomato and potato plants. Around 40 kinds of tobacco exist.
QUALITY: Tobacco is graded by leaf type and quality. There are five grades - choice, fine, good, fair, and low. These are set by the tobacco's uniformity, texture, age, oil, body, coloring, etc.
NICOTIANA: The botanical name for tobacco after Jean Nicot who introduced tobacco into Europe around 1560.
RALEIGH, SIR WALTER: He popularized smoking at Queen Elizabeth's court around the mid 16th century and was believed to be the first to smoke a pipe in England.
TOBAGO: Columbus discovered it in 1498, and according to legend, named it after the shape of a Carib pipe smoked on the island.
FLAKE CUT: Tobacco packaged as large, flat flakes. Must be rubbed out to separate the flakes.
RIBBON CUT: Tobacco cut into long, thin ribbons, though not as long or as fine as SHAG.
CUBE CUT: Tobacco chopped into small square pieces.
SHAG: Tobacco which has been shredded very finely. Renowned as the type of preference for Sherlock Holmes; at that time, shag was considered an inferior grade.
RUBBING OUT: Separating tobacco pieces prior to smoking, by rubbing in the palm of the hand. Must be done with FLAKE or PLUG cut tobaccos.
VIRGINIA - red / black / lemon / orange / orange-red The mildest of all blending tobaccos has the highest natural sugar content. Used in virtually all blends as it is a good burner and aids in lighting. It imparts a light sweet taste when used in moderation
BRIGHT - From the Carolinas
BURLEY - "white Burley" - a natural tobacco taste with a soft character that will never "bite."
CAVENDISH - Cavendish is a process of curing and a method of cutting tobacco leaf; the term does not refer to a tobacco, but a type of manufacturing process. The processing and the cut are used to bring out the natural sweet taste that is a characteristic of Virginia tobacco. This process will create a tobacco very light in taste, quite mild and easy to pack. Black - Traditional Navy Cavendish, aged naturally with dark Jamaican rum .
PERIQUE - From Louisiana
Havana - From Cuba
Oriental "spice" tobaccos:
LATAKIA - From Syria/Cyprus (richly smoked and fermented) Latakia was "discovered" when a bumper crop resulted in surplus, and the excess tobacco was stored in the rafters. The village farmers traditionally used camel dung (or other dung, I suspect) as a source of fuel, and the smoke cured tobacco was revealed the following season. Today, Latakia is smoked over a smoldering fire of aromatic herbs. The camel no longer has to process the herbs first!
DUBEC - From Turkey
XANTHI - From Macedonia
KOMOTINI- From Macedonia
DRAMA - From Macedonia
SERRES - From Macedonia
SAMSUN - From the southern coast of the black seas
IZMIR - From Western Turkey
CIGAR: The Mayans are believed to be the first to put a cigar on the pedestal it deserves. German philologists translated the Mayan noun "Zik" for tobacco or smoke, and "zikar" the verb form. Thus the word "cigar" evolved and was recognized in many ancient drawings and carvings. A Myan carving dated circa 300A.D. depicts a long tubular roll of tobacco in the mount of an obviously happy man.
BAND: A paper wrapper around the end of the cigar, originally meant to protect white gloves from stains. Later used as a form of advertising.
CHURCHILL: A very large cigar, named for Winston Churchill, who preferred big, expensive Havanas.
CLARO: A "clear" light brown wrapper, free of defects.
CUTTER: A device for clipping the end off a cigar. Some resemble scissors with curved blades; others look like small guillotines for making a straight or V-shaped notch. At least one variety looks like a .44 magnum bullet, which pulls apart to reveal a punch that cuts a round hole.
MADURO: A variety of cigars made with a dark wrapper.
EMS: European Market Selection
PYRAMID: A cigar shape with a pointed end.
RING GAUGE: Diameter of a cigar, in sixty-fourths of an inch.
SHADE GROWN: Wrapper leaf which has been grown under cotton shades, for mildness.
TUBO: A cigar which is packaged in a glass or aluminum tube. Also called TUBED.
WRAPPER: The tobacco leaf used for the outer layer of the cigar.
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