Where does the word shampoo come from?

In 1872 two men began work on a lexicon of words of Asian origin used by the British in India. Since its publication the 1,000-page dictionary has never been out of print ...

The size and scale of the Hobson-Jobson Dictionary gives an indication of the impact of words from Indian languages in English. Often they are accompanied by fascinating insights into the relationship between the two cultures.

Shampoo is the Hindi/Urdu word chāmpo for a head massage with oil. The first known usage is in 1792.

Early in the 1814 a Bengali businessman, Dean Mahomed, and his Irish wife, opened Mahomed's Steam and Vapour Sea Water Medicated Baths in Brighton, England. His baths were like Turkish baths where clients received an Indian treatment of champi (shampooing), or therapeutic massage. Dean's new treatment was immediately popular and he was appointed ‘Shampooing Surgeon’ to both George IV and William IV.

Dean Mahomed also opened the Hindoostanee Coffee House: the first Indian take-away restaurant in London.

A podcast on Hobson-Jobson from the FT is here
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