1690s, "framework for grilling meat, fish, etc.," from American Spanish barbacoa, from Arawakan (Haiti) barbakoa "framework of sticks set upon posts," the raised wooden structure the West Indians used to either sleep on or cure meat.
The sense of "outdoor feast of roasted meat or fish as a social entertainment" is from 1733; the modern popular noun sense of "grill for cooking over an open fire" is from 1931.
"to dry or roast on a gridiron," 1660s, from the source of barbecue (n.). Related: Barbecued; barbecuing.
updated on October 03, 2022