"bamboo", some kind of drink?

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Fri Mar 2 20:14:04 UTC 2012

On 3/2/12 3:00 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> 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?
By a process of (very) free association, what comes to mind is "shrub"
(a fruit-infused syrup that can be diluted to taste).

Alice Faber                                    faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                           tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                        fax (203) 865-8963

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

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