A Global Guide For How To Say Marijuana In Other Languages

Ever wonder what the rest of the world calls marijuana? That intel might come in handy if you're trying to ask locals if there is a cannabis club in the area while you're globetrotting. Here are five other words for marijuana that are used around the world.

1. Pakalolo (PAH-kha-LOW-low)

Hawaiians call marijuana "pakalolo," which splices the words for "tobacco" and "crazy." So pakalolo is "wacky tobacky." And things in the Aloha State might get even crazier once Woody Harrelson opens up his medical marijuana dispensary.

2. Dagga (DAG-uh)

In the South African dialect Afrikaans, marijuana is better known as "dagga," which some linguistic scholars think could mean "green tobacco." The term is actually older than "marijuana," so if you want to sound truly old school, roll some dagga instead of mary jane.

3. Esrar (ES-rahr)

In Turkey, the locals call cannabis "esrar," which is the same word for "secrets." The connection could involve marijuana's ability to reveal hidden meanings. Before prohibiting marijuana in the 20th century, Turks used cannabis and hash ("toz esrar") as early as the year 1,000 BCE.

4. Taima (TAHY-mah)

In Japan, cannabis is called マリファナ ("taima"), which is also a word used for religious ceremonies honoring the Shinto sun goddess. You can learn more about the cannabis roots of Shintoism by checking out Japan's Taima Hakubutsukan ("The Cannabis Museum"), which is located in Tokyo.

5. Maconha (MAH-koi-yuh)

In most South American countries, you can get by with saying "marijuana." But in Brazilian Portuguese, "marijuana" translates to "maconha." Beginning in the 16th century, Brazil was a marijuana hothouse as Portuguese settlers established colonies that cultivated cannabis for medical use.


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