Non-Foods People Stick in Their Mouths


| 8/22/2009 10:54:13 AM


Toothpaste HistoryIn 1654, people weren’t smoking tobacco. They were “drinking” smoke from pipes. And in the early nineteenth century, English speakers referred to a set of false teeth as a “ratelier,” derived from the French word for “rack.” These insights come from the food magazine Gastronomica, where Mark Morton has compiled a linguistic history of chewing tobacco, false teeth, and other non-food items that people stick in their mouths.

In the article, Morton revives the word “gamahuche,” an awkward and little-known euphemism for oral sex. He also sheds some light on the history of “toothpaste,” a word which appeared in English long after the Romans were using human urine to whiten their teeth. An advertisement in The American Railroad Journal used the term “toothpaste” in 1832, just 13 years after the Family Receipt Book suggested the use of gunpowder as a tooth whitener.



Source: Gastronomica 



Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter