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September 28, 2017

Cigars got their name from cicadas?

Filed under: Folklore — Dan @ 7:05 pm

Cigars got their name from cicadas?

A 1916 article titled “How Men’s Habits Began” (The Press Publishing Co, The New York Evening World) says this:

A cigar deserves a better start, but some of our highbrows claim it got its name from our little friend, the katydid. “Cigarro” was the Spanish name, and the learned ones twist this into coming from “cicada”.

This story seems believable. “Cigarra” is one word Spanish-speaking people use for cicadas. Cicadas do look like cigar butts. Katydids — while not cicadas — are insects that sing like cicadas, and their wings kind of look like tobacco leaves.

Here’s a link to the story.

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