Bowl [bohl]; a.k.a. dish, cup, bowl head, packer;
This term is a little tricky because it can have a double meaning; not including the actual uses of the term. When speaking in "smoke shop terms" the bowl is the part of a smoking pipe where your tobacco, marijuana (legal states) or other herbs, goes into.
Over years of loose terminology, mainly in the United States, the term bowl is commonly used when describing a pipe (the entire smoking device itself); never a good practice when in a smoke shop.
Dictionary.com describes "the bowl of a pipe" as "a rounded, cuplike, hollow part;". They got it right.
When describing the portion of your hand pipe where you place tobacco or marijuana (legalized states), it's fine to use the term "bowl".
When using the term "bowl", describing it as a smoking pipe, implies you're using it for the use of a substance other than tobacco. In all states, it is illegal to purchase a pipe if it's known use is to smoke illegal substances out of. Hence why shops don't want you to use the term.
Here's a picture to show you what I mean.
Do not use these terms when in a smoke shop, describing a pipe: Bowl, weed pipe, crack pipe, bong.
Terms to use instead: pipe, hand pipe, tobacco pipe, spoon.
In conclusion, when you're in a smoke shop, in any state, it's safe to say the word PIPE. For the love of God, stop calling everything a bowl. If you see someone using incorrect terminology, kindly laugh at them and direct them to our blog to learn more. There's a newbie everywhere you go.
If you have any additions or changes you think we should make, leave us a comment so we can make updates to this blog post.