Okay, so I know this can be a subject that is hard to find info on sometimes. I just thought I could try to help out and encourage others to spread advise out for those wondering or are clueless on this sometimes touchy situation in head shops.
Note: These are most common in states where cannabis is NOT decriminalized and drug paraphernalia is therefor, a sometimes risky trade.
Bongs: In some head shops, you can be thrown out for using the word "bong" because it refers directly to the consumption of cannabis, and the owner/owners may get defensive about this fearing that it will be their ass. Unless you know the staff well enough, don't use the word bong. One term I have heard used is "water pipe", and in some areas, it's the only term accepted for bongs as it has an implied use for tobacco. Another term I have heard around here used frequently is "vases". I am not 100% that this applies everywhere but it is generally accepted and the staff will know what you are taking about immediately.
Bubblers: This is a much more difficult term to get around. Usually you can just say bubbler and you'll be fine, but if your worried than just try the "what about this" method and see what they call it. I have heard bubblers referred to as a "wet piece" once or twice, but I think thats going overboard personally. Like I said, bubbler is a generally accepted term. There isn't a lot of other words to describe it.
Joint papers: First of all, every person who smokes should have the common sense not to ask for "joint" or "rolling papers" if cannabis is outlawed in your area. You will be most likely refused service if it is not accepted and the staff is strict on terms. An always safe alternative is "cigarette papers" or "tobacco papers". Or if you know the brand name just ask for that (Zig Zag papers for example).
Digital/hand scales: Your best bet (if they are stocked) is to ask for a measuring scale. Not really that hard. Just don't go saying "digi" or ask about how much weed it will weigh at once.
Detox kits/drinks: These can be touchy. "Cleansing" is a key word sometimes. Usually you just say detox, just don't mentioning what you are detoxing for or ask if thc will still show up on your piss test.
If cannabis is decriminalized in your state or your area is familiar with MMJ in the mainstream then you can basically skip all of this and just call it whatever you want.
Some head shops call it bongs ect. or whatever because they're just cool or like that. It really depends on the shop or staff, sometimes all of this is unnecessary, but it really sucks getting kicked out of a shop that was intended for exactly what you planned to buy. :asshat:
This is all for now, if anyone else has more, please post. More may be to come.
All of this was personally typed FOR YOU. Hope this helps :gethigh: