From the poem "The Free-Selector's Daughter" (emphasis mine)

I broke my pipe and burnt my twist,
And washed my mouth with water;
I had a shave before I kissed
The free-selector's daughter.

In this context, what would twist mean?

  • 2
    Twist=Tobacco, here
    – NVZ
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:46
  • 2
    To expand on @NVZ's comment, it's a reference to chewing tobacco, specifically, which is twisted into a crude "rope" before selling, hence "twist of tobacco". Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:48
  • 1
    Fascinating! I have never heard of that use of twist before. Do you know how it originated?
    – Oreo
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:48

1 Answer 1


It's the tobacco pipe mentioned here. — TFD

noun a tube with a small bowl at one end; used for smoking tobacco

Twist, refers to tobacco. — M-W

1.d. tobacco leaves twisted into a thick roll

  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewing_tobacco#Types Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:49
  • So would the pipe then refer to a smoking pipe?
    – Oreo
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:49
  • Almost certainly, yes, especially since "twist" tobacco is suitable for chewing or smoking in a pipe (according to that wikipedia page). Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:50
  • 1
    So what would "I broke my pipe" mean?
    – Oreo
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:57
  • @Oreo I suppose, he literally broke the pipe and burnt away the tobacco instead of smoking them, in order to kiss the girl. He even shaved for the kiss. It could also mean something different, but discussing lyric interpretation here will be off-topic.
    – NVZ
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 7:59

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