Pipe Smoking Vocabulary

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Dec 3, 2021
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When I started looking for pipes to buy some years ago, I was quite confused to find sites listing “whistles” for sale 🤔

Which is the English translation for the German “pfeife”

It’s not the translation, but the CONTEXT or USAGE that is important

Thanks for that. I have seen listings with “whistles” and couldn’t fathom how it applied to the pipes I was looking at.
 
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sardonicus87

Lifer
Jun 28, 2022
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Thank for that. I have seen listings with “whistles” and couldn’t fathom how it applied to the pipes I was looking at.
It depends. "Whistle" is one possible translation of Pfeife because there's more than one definition for that word. Just like if you translate "pipe" to german, depends what kind of pipe you mean. The correct translation could be das Rohr, or die Leitung, or die Pfeife depending on context.

Sort of like the word "desert" in English has more than one definition. It could mean "an expanse of land that is sandy and sees little rain" or it could mean "to leave one behind". A different language may have separate words for these two things.

So Pfeife doesn't mean "whistle" in English anymore than it means "pipe" in English. A train whistle is a Pfeife just as much as a tobacco pipe is a Pfeife.
 
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Dec 3, 2021
4,893
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Pennsylvania & New York
It depends. "Whistle" is one possible translation of Pfeife because there's more than one definition for that word. Just like if you translate "pipe" to german, depends what kind of pipe you mean. The correct translation could be das Rohr, or die Leitung, or die Pfeife depending on context.

Sort of like the word "desert" in English has more than one definition. It could mean "an expanse of land that is sandy and sees little rain" or it could mean "to leave one behind". A different language may have separate words for these two things.

So Pfeife doesn't mean "whistle" in English anymore than it means "pipe" in English. A train whistle is a Pfeife just as much as a tobacco pipe is a Pfeife.

I have no doubt there are multiple meanings, but Ray’s explanation makes total sense in this context—the Savinelli pipes I was looking that had “whistles” in the descriptions were all from sellers in Germany.
 

Cloozoe

Part of the Furniture Now
Sep 1, 2023
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I wonder how English got that specific. dictionary.com says: ORIGIN OF DOTTLE: 1815–25; dial. dot small lump (probably identical with dot1) + -le. Makes little sense to me.

English is a wonderful language with many more words than most, often of exquisite specificity. No "fingers of the feet" in English; someone a long time ago decided "toes" was more convenient.
 

Alejo R.

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 13, 2020
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Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Title edited. Regardless of native tongue, one needs to read rule 9 before starting another thread.

English isn't my native tongue, so coming to this forum I had to learn some new words.

dottle -- do you mean gunk? why don't you say so
to sip a pipe?? -- I think it means to smoke the pipe like sipping an expensive drink, but I still have trouble coming to senses with this one
cadence -- my favorite, here it means the pace of smoking but look at the word's definition: Dictionary.com | Meanings & Definitions of English Words - https://www.dictionary.com/browse/cadence

Can you add more? Cheers!
What is your native language?
 
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Alejo R.

Part of the Furniture Now
Oct 13, 2020
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Curiously, one of the commonly used words in Spanish for whistle, PITO, is an archaism for pipe in Spanish. Since at some point it also became synonymous with penis, it was no longer used for a pipe. In modern Spanish, the word pipa only refers to a smoking pipe, but is not related to a pipe for transporting fluids or gases or a whistle.
 
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