First of all, let’s talk about where the word Barbecue doesn’t come from.
It’s been reported by some “experts” that the word comes from the French barbe et queue, which translates literally as “beard and tail,” meaning everything from end to end.
But that is apparently false.
Even the definitive Oxford English Dictionary, which doesn’t smirk lightly, can’t resist out-and-out derision of this etymology:
“This an absurd conjecture suggested merely by the sound of the word.”
Instead, says the OED, the word comes from the Spanish barbacoa, which means “a framework of sticks set upon posts,” and it quotes from the earliest known English usage in 1661, recorded by a visitor to Jamaica:
“Some are slain, And their flesh forthwith barbacu’d and eat.”
Since then, people have expanded the word to mean not only the device the meat is cooked on but also the meat itself.