Cigar Terminology and Cigar Slang

No hobby is complete without its own slang and terminology. Just your luck – this hobby is heavy on the Spanish, too! C’mon Dora, let’s do some exploring!

Band

It’s that colorful thing wrapped around the cigar that has a picture of a vintage flamenco dancer on it, or some other branding imagery. This is how makers make their mark and identify their sticks at the individual level.

Barrel

The body of the cigar, as opposed to the head and foot, found at the ends.

Binder

The binder leaf is used to wrap up the main filler leaves inside the cigar. The “wrapper” leaf then goes around the binder and the filler to complete the tobacco smoking world’s most beautiful three-way.

Boite Nature

A cedar box full of cigars for sale.

Burros (aka “bulks”)

Big stacks of tobacco leaf being fermented. Can be as tall as your daddy.

Candela (aka “double claro”)

A once-popular type of cigar wrapper leaf that stays green instead of turning brown like all the others.

Cap

A little bit of wrapper leaf placed around the head of your cigar.

Capa

Wrapper leaf.

Catador

A job you wish you had – this person is a professional cigar taster.

Chaveta

This is the name for the special knife that cigar rollers use to cut leaves.

Claro

A very light brown wrapper.

Colorado

A medium-brownish wrapper.

Coolerdor / Tupperdor / Ziplocdor

In Hell, there are no humidors, and all cigars are kept in coolers, Tupperware, and Ziplocs to dry out and get gross in Hell’s baking oven of death. These items are also seen sometimes on earth for newer smokers or smokers who recently got divorced and have to make do because they’re no longer allowed to enter their own house that they made every single payment on.

Corojos

A type of wrapper leaf that is generally grown under screening or gauze of some type.

Culebra

One of those crazy Frankenstein cigars with three cigars twisted together.

Diademas

A massive cigar with a tapered head that’s longer than you are.

Foot

This end is often open. Apply fire to it and suck the head at the other end. Congrats! You’re now smoking a cigar.

Habana

If you see this on the band, it usually means the cigar is Cuban (or is trying really hard to pretend to be).

Half-wheel (“media ruedas”)

50 cigars bundled together.

Head

Cut this end then suck on it when smoking.

Herf

A gathering of cigar smokers.

Hot

If a cigar is underfilled, it may have a fast, loose draw that feels harsh.

Ligero

Leaf found at the top of the cigar plant that burns slowly and adds body.

Long Filler

Machine-made cigars have chopped leaf, but premium handmade cigars have leaves that run the length of the cigar called “long filler.”

Maduro

Dark brown cigars.

Oil

If your cigar is oily, it was probably humidified properly.

Oscuro

A black cigar.

Plug

When you’re sucking on a cigar and the fun stops, you sometimes have a plug. Believe it or not, just like in the bedroom, a little rubbing in the right spots can sometimes fix the problem and get the party started again. Be gentle! This ain’t one of your whiskey-soaked one night stands that wants to rehearse WWE moves in bed with you.

Puro

Many delicious cigars are blends, but some only use tobacco from one location. The latter are called puros to indicate that they are purely the product of one soil.

Rosado

Reddish cigars.

Seco

Mild leaf found in the middle of the tobacco plant stalk.

Shade-grown

Not all plants bathe in sunlight all day long. Some wrapper leaf is grown in relative shade under a cheesecloth tent (aka a “tapado”). This creates a leaf that is thinner than usual and is easier to work into a smooth, even wrapper around a cigar.

Shoulder

This is where the cap of the cigar transitions into the body. Just like where your head meets your body.

Sun-grown

Tobacco grown in the sun, of course! Like your cousin who did a three-year stretch at the state pen, this leaf comes out thicker, stronger, and veinier.

Torcedor

The person to whom we all must bow down. This is the person that actually makes your cigars. Try to make your own some time to get an appreciation for the level of skill that goes into this.

Tunneling

Back when you were a high school stoner, you called it “canoeing.” This is when your cigar starts burning unevenly, with one burn path streaking up the side of the cigar while the tip slowly loses heat and goes out. To prevent this, you need to treat your cigar kind of like a pig roasting on a spit – turn it from time to time to ensure an even burn. As silly as it sounds, cigar smoking is a skill and sometimes takes some finesse. Your non-smoking spouse will think you’re blowing smoke up their ass if you ever say this, but we all know it’s true.

Vegas

Vegas are tobacco plantations. A singular plantation is a “vega.” Not to be confused with Las Vegas, Nevada where we should all be right now because you can light upright on the damn game floor! It might be good etiquette to ask if anyone nearby minds before you spark up, but other than that, puff away. Vegas truly is the playground of the gods.

Vein

Just like people, plants have veins, too. And just like people, you generally don’t want to see too many of them growing too thick in your cigar. Bodybuilders will disagree on this point, but if you smoke a veiny cigar you’ll know why manufacturers try to avoid them.

Vintage

This is usually a reference to the year of harvesting of the tobacco leaves in a cigar, not when the cigar was made.

Volado

The cigar leaf found towards the bottom of the plant that burns fast and smoky. It’s a key part of many enjoyable blends because cigars have to, you know, catch fire and stay that way.

Wrapper (aka “capa”)

This is a cigar’s first impression maker. The wrapper is the leaf that is wrapped around the outside of the cigar. Any cigar you’ve ever seen, you were looking at the wrapper.

Yardgar

Not all cigars can be ultra-premium smokes that the community drools over. Some are just plain old smokes. You can buy these on the cheap and they come in bundles. They’re “yard” gars because you can puff away on them while you push a lawnmower for half an hour on Saturday without ruining the experience a more expensive cigar offers.