Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-26-2005, 03:32 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 25,862
Origin of "shampoo", the word not the practice

Why do we have the word "shampoo"?

Don't get me wrong, it's a cute word, and useful, but why do we have a separate word for what is basically "hair soap"?

And how did we arrive at "shampoo" instead of some other collection of sounds?
Old 02-26-2005, 03:37 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Between pole and tropic
Posts: 7,544
From here:
"Shampoo," as you may have noticed, is both a noun and a verb, and the Oxford English Dictionary defines the act of shampooing as being "to subject (the scalp) to washing and rubbing with some cleansing agent, as soap and water, shampoo powder, etc." Yes, Virginia, there once was such a thing as "shampoo powder," and I actually bought a can of the stuff in the late 1960s. You were supposed to dump the powder on your dry hair, comb it through, and presto, your hair would be clean and shiny. Not quite. In reality, it was a case of presto, your hair was full of greasy, gritty goop.

Oddly enough, the origin of "shampoo" has nothing directly to do with hair (and does not, puns aside, involve our modern word "sham," meaning "phony"). "Shampoo" comes from the Hindi word "campo," meaning "to press," and a "shampoo," which entered English around 1762, was originally a full-body massage. In fact, until the mid-19th century, asking for a "shampoo" would get you pummeled by a masseur (or masseuse) and slathered with oils and lotions. Only lastly (if you lasted that long) would your hair be washed. By about 1860, however, "shampoo" had attained its exclusive modern meaning of "washing the hair." Shortly thereafter, "shampoo" began to be used as a noun meaning either an act of shampooing or the special soap used on the hair.
Old 02-26-2005, 03:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Newark-On-Trent UK
Posts: 3,743
Here is a similar answer from

The word comes from the Indian word champo. Early travelers to India noticed that sultans and nabobs had several servants who massaged their bodies after hot baths. Champo is the native term for "to press," which was the method of massaging the body with knuckles. The term was taken back with the travelers to England, but only the wealthy could afford a professional bath attendant on the household staff. By 1860, shampooing was reduced to the operation of washing and rubbing only the scalp.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:05 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: cement dye miramar brig most common initials high toilet tank dago choppers wikipedia worth sexy vixen michele lau jtv jim cantore salary bactrim alcohol interaction text phone sex indiana securid shyster origin cat meatloaf position low alcohol tolerance gunnery sergeant marines basswood pronunciation 64 skylark swirl symbol small maggots vulcan jedi is masturbation exercise wwii revolvers hard drive symbol buses or busses eas in crucem average standard deviation ricer tires flesh tone marker dead virus squeegee kid turkeys reproduction bow safe joe english neil young voice basswood pronunciation att mcafee security dog stomach blockage surgery cost what does red bull taste like hostess day old bakery how to make stevia taste better deodorant and kidney disease rite aid st john's wort how to bypass egr valve how to make money with beef cattle aluminum tire valve caps how to make a knockout drug tune a five string bass storing food in stainless steel bowls how long does it take for a skin tag to fall off after tying learn college algebra in a week yellow jacket nest behind siding feel like i have a fever but i don't why are the jaguars so bad fat guys on mopeds enzyme drain cleaner drain flies does stop leak work tobacco dust for fleas dalworthington gardens police chief seven bridges road harmonies engine oil pan gasket replacement cost sloping shoulders vs square shoulders can you die from getting the wind knocked out of you sigma alpha epsilon secret handshake lance cyst at home how to remove a tiny stripped screw river rice where to buy how much do laker season tickets cost