The following is derived from the 1913 U.S.D.A. Agriculture Yearbook section on hemp by Lyster Dewey, p. 283-293:
The name hemp, derived from the Old English hanf, came into use in Middle English by 1000 C.E. and still belongs primarily to cannabis sativa. It is also used to designate the long fiber obtained from that plant: the earliest, best-known, and, until recently, the most widely used textile fiber on Earth.
It has long been regarded as the standard among long fibers. As such, its name has come to be used as a generic term for all long fibers, whereas Indian hemp or true hemp denotes cannabis hemp. Now commodity markets list names like Manila hemp, abacá; sisal hemp, sisal, and henequen; Mauritius hemp, for Furcraea fiber; New Zealand hemp, phormium; Sunn hemp, Crotalaria; and India hemp, for jute. All these plants are unlike true hemp in appearance and in economic properties. Curiously, the name hemp is never applied to flax, which is more nearly like hemp than any other commercial fiber.
True hemp is known in different languages by the following names: cannabis, Latin; chanvre, French; cañamo, Spanish; canhamo, Portuguese; canapa, Italian; canep, Albanian; konopli, Russian; konopi and penek, Polish; kemp, Belgian; hanf, German; hennup, Dutch; hamp, Swedish; hampa, Danish; kenevir, Bulgarian; ta-ma, si-ma, and tse-ma, Chinese; asa and taima, Japanese; nasha, Turkish; kanabira, Syrian; kannab, Arabic.
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