Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

By Ingrid Piller

Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice "prompts thinking about linguistic disadvantage as a form of structural disadvantage that needs to be recognized and taken seriously."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

By Rudolf Botha

Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics students and faculty, and supported primarily by your donations. Please support LINGUIST List during the 2016 Fund Drive.

Summary Details


Query:   Origin of Pot 'Cannabis'
Author:  Max Wheeler
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Lexicography

Summary:   I ASKED THE FOLLOWING:

''THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY S.V. POT N.5 SAYS 'PROB. F. MEXICAN
SP._POTIGUAYA_ MARIJUANA LEAVES'. MANY ENGLISH LANGUAGE WEBSITES TELL THE
SAME STORY, SOME GIVING THE SUPPOSED VARIANT SPANISH FORMS _POTAGUAYA_ OR
_POTACION DE GUAYA_.

''I HAVE SO FAR FOUND NO EVIDENCE THAT _POTIGUAYA_, _POTAGUAYA_ OR
_POTACION DE GUAYA_ ARE IN FACT USED IN SPANISH. I WOULD BE INTERESTEDTO
KNOW OF ANY EVIDENCE THAT ANY OF THESE EXPRESSIONS IS USED IN ANY VARIETY
OF SPANISH. IF ANY OF THEM IS USED, I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO KNOW THE MEANING.''

NONE OF THE REPLIES HAS CONFIRMED THE USE OF ANY OF THESE THREE VARIANT
EXPRESSIONS IN SPANISH. PHILIP DURKIN EXPLAINS THE SOURCE OF THE OED'S
ETYMOLOGY:
DAVID W. MAURER 'ARGOT OF THE UNDERWORLD NARCOTIC ADDICT' AMERICAN SPEECH
11 (1936) 116-27: ''POTIGUAYA, MARAJUANA (SIC) LEAVES AFTER THE PODS HAVE
BEEN REMOVED; CRUDE MARAJUANA''.

AMONG THE ALTERNATIVE IDEAS, SCOTT DELANCEY SUGGESTS THAT ''_POT_ IS
METONYMIC EXTENSION OF _TEA_, WHICH IS A WIDESPREAD TERM FOR CANNABIS (IN
THE FORM OF DRIED LEAVES)''. DAVID DREWELOW SUGGESTS OTHER POSSIBLE
METONYMIES FROM E.G. A PIPE WITH A 'POT BOWL', OR MARIJUANA AS A 'POTTED
PLANT', OR 'DRUG POTS' FORHOLDING OR DRYING DRUGS, AND DRAWS TO MY NOTICE
THAT NAHUATL _POCTLI_ MEANS 'SMOKE'.

SO FAR, THOUGH, NO DOCUMENTARY OR CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE POINTS TO A
CHOICE BETWEEN THESE VARIOUS POSSIBILITIES, OR TOWARDS ANY OF THESE IN
PREFERENCE TO OTHER CONCEIVABLE OR ACTUAL SUGGESTIONS.

THE MYSTERY REMAINS.

MANY THANKS TO THOSE MENTIONED ABOVE AND TO DAMIEN HALL, LEE HARTMAN AND
OTTO CARSTEN

LL Issue: 16.2853
Date Posted: 04-Oct-2005
Original Query: Read original query