Bong Vocabulary

bong vocabulary
When shopping for any good or service, it’s important to know what you’re talking about. That’s especially true for water pipes because they greatly affect your smoking experience. Here’s the terms you need to know before you shop for a water pipe.









BONG–Also referred to as a “water pipe”, a bong is a water filtration device used for smoking tobacco and other herbal substances.



Vapor Bong/ Concentrate Bong

vapor bong and concentrate bong
Also referred to as a “dab rig” or "oil rig", a vapor bong is specifically made for use with concentrates. Rather than bowls, these bongs have domes and nails that users heat with a butane torch and place upon concentrates with a dabber. Many bongs can be used for both dry materials and concentrates with the appropriate accessories, which is often included within the product’s description.



A bubbler is a smaller-than-average water pipe that is designed to be portable and easy to hold. Most bubblers have carb holes and built-in bowls like hand pipes, though some have slide bowls and downstems like bongs.




A bong that is designed to have smoke revolve inside of it so it can be further cooled and diffused.


Scientific Glass


Scientific glass bongs are made of clear (or at least transparent) borosilicate glass and are shaped like flasks, straight tubes and beakers.


Heady glass bongs are unique, often one-of-a-kind water pipes created by glass artists. These pipes often have unconventional shapes and glass composition.


The bong’s bowl is what holds the dry material that is being smoked. The user holds a lighter to the bowl’s contents while inhaling and then removes the bowl in order to take in the accumulated smoke. Bowls are connect to the bong via a glass joint. Headshops like DankStop sell replacemnent bowls as well as other glass parts.

The joint is a piece that extends from the bong in order to connect with the bowl and sometimes the downstem. Joints extend from the bong at a 45 degree or 90 degree angle, though some bongs have recessed joints that sit on top of the piece. Joints have a diameter of 10mm, 14mm or 18mm which corresponds with the joint sections of bowls, downstems, and concentrate nails. Joints can either be female or male, which indicates whether bowl/nail joints are meant to be placed inside or over the joint. For more info, check out our article on glass on glass joint types and sizes

The bottom of the bong which allows it to stand.


The tube that leads to the mouthpiece




A tube that funnels smoke from the bowl towards the bottom of the bong, where the water sits. The smoke going through the downstem into water is what creates a bong's water filtration. Some downstems are diffused to further filter smoke. Certain bongs have removable downstems for better cleaning and replacements.



Often referred to as a “perc”, a percolator diffuses smoke by breaking up bubbles into smaller bubbles. Percolators can have a variety of shapes. This makes the smoke inhaled less harsh for the user. Some bongs have multiple percolators.
DeWar’s Joint

A glass bridge that extends from the joint to the bong’s main body. Makes the joint sturdier by anchoring it to the rest of the bong.



ice catcher

Prongs inside the neck of a bong that holds ice cubes for the purposes of cooling smoke.



A band resting on the joint that creates a seal between the joint and the bowl. Also helps to make removing and placing the bowl less impactful on the bong’s glass joint. Is generally made of rubber.


side car

A neck that branches off the side of the bong and leads to the mouthpiece. Sidecars eliminate splashback and ensure all of the water stays inside the pipe and out of your mouth.



An accessory glass tube that allows the user to use a bowl with a vapor bong or a dome and nail with a regular bong.



An accessory that connects the bowl to the joint. The ashcatcher catches debris created by burning materials. Many ashcatchers have percolators to help diffuse smoke.

Glycerin Coil


A removable chamber with a coil tube inside and filled with freezable glycerin. Is connected to the neck and mouthpiece. Users remove and freeze this chamber in order to cool down smoke once it’s placed back on the bong. Popularized by the company Illadelph.

Keck Clip

keck clip

Circular plastic clips that secure removable pieces of a bong, such as downstems, bowls and mouthpieces.