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What is the origin of barbecue?

Barbecue is borrowed from Spanish barbacoa, a framework used for storing meat or fish that was to be dried or smoked, but also having a meaning as a framework on which one could sleep. The Spanish word came from the Arawak barbacòa, meaning 'a framework of sticks on posts', and referring to the framework of such a structure. The word entered English around 1697 with both the meat framework and bed meanings. By 1733, it was used to mean the device for roasting an outdoor meal of meat or fish and an entertainment event centered on this activity and then, by 1764, the meal itself. In English, the word has been spelled: barbecu, borbecu, barbicue, barbacue, barbecue, babracot - and now barbeque and the phonetic rendition Bar-B-Q, which is sometimes used by restaurants and food manufacturers.

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