"bamboo", some kind of drink?

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Fri Mar 2 20:00:34 UTC 2012

What is "bamboo", in:

"So then they [pirate captains, 1700, reminiscencing in Madagascar]
sat down and gossiped about old times, drinking their bamboo the
while.  I had no taste for the sickly stuff, myself, it being nothing
but water, limes and sugar."

Related by Capt. Kidd's cat, McDermot, as written down by Robert Lawson.

I haven't found it in the OED, but perhaps imaginative spellings are
escaping me.  Or perhaps Lawson's transcription is inaccurate -- what
was he thinking of?


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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