Barbeque: Delicious Origins in History

by admin on January 23, 2013 · 15 comments

History of BBQThere are some words in our vocabulary that are not only delicious but are also used without any thought of where they came from. I use the word delicious to describe what a word can make you think, not to say we can eat the word persay. In this delicious instance, I’m thinking barbeque. Not only does the word make us think chunks, slabs or cuts of meat sizzling on a grill over a fire, but it makes us drool a bit. (Admit it, you BBQ lovers out there!)

Barbeque is also one of those words that we know exists in its delicious form but may not give it a passing thought as to where it comes from. So, for those of you who don’t know and are curious, I researched exactly where this delicious word came from.

First thing to note, as most already know, there are more than one form of the word barbeque:

barbeque, barbecue, bar-b-que, bar-b-q, BBQ

I originally had thought that we wrote BBQ as just an easier way than writing the entire word out, but it turns out there are simply just many different forms of the word. I even read that it may be possible that George Washington spelled the word “barbicue”.

Most of the sources I read through seem to state one common description of where barbeque came from:

It stems from the word “barbocoa”.

Some sources say this Spanish word came from the Caribbean. Another said that the word started with the Indians of Guiana as “babracot” and the Haitians, who used “barbocoa” and passed the word to the Spanish language.

Either way, it seems the word described a special wooden frame that was used for drying, smoking and/or grilling meat. One interesting piece of information that I came across was the fact that back in the 1600s, when barbeque first met the English language, the word was used to describe a sleeping platform that was raised off the ground to save the sleeper from snake bites and other critters. How interesting!

So, where has barbeque gone in history (whether it traveled deliciously or not, I cannot say)? Around the world! Another thought some may have may be that “BBQ is just an American thing.” Not at all. In South Africa, barbeque is known as braai (pronounced “bry”), and it is actually a type of sausage. In Australia, as you may have heard, they use the word barbie.

Everyone barbeques different things depending on where you are from. Even state to state is different. Although we Americans BBQ chicken, pork, beef (drooling begins) so do other countries, it just becomes a matter of how it’s cooked and the steps to preparation.

An example is Korean barbeque. When you go to a location that serves this, you get the meat completely raw as you sit at a special table. There is a charcoal or gas grill in the middle of the table with the cuts of different meats nearby to cook by yourself. This would be why they have brought Korean barbeque to us. Mmm.

So, what does this analysis and research say about babracot, barbocoa, barbeque, barbecue, bar-b-que, bar-b-q, BBQ, braai and barbie?

It is 100 percent DELICIOUS no matter what it’s called. Period.

About author:

Miscelleana Rhinehart linguistically enjoys all words and their meanings and uses her skills to write for Michigan GMC dealers and many more industries.

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