lid, meth, etc. (1966)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Mon Dec 20 08:44:30 UTC 2004

Antedatings gleaned from this article:

A New Drug Culture Is Burgeoning
Washington Post, Aug 21, 1966, pp. E1, E5

* lid = 'ounce of marijuana' (OED2 1967)

   Depending on how closely the box is packed, you can roll between
   10 and 15 joints from its contents, which cost $5 for an average
   quality. Between four and five boxes make an economy-size lid
   (one ounce), which runs $15.

* meth (OED3 1967), meth freak (OED3 1968), meth head (OED3 1967)

   "Ugh! Meth (methedrine) freaks!" said a girl at the coffee house
   table ... "The meth scene is different," a young psychologist
   agreed. "Meth freaks will play the embolism game. ... Meth freaks
   have been known to shoot some kind of phosphorescent stuff with
   the meth so they can watch it go up the veins of their arms. ...
   But that's the meth heads' scene."

* Panama Red (OED2 1967)

   "The best pot is supposed to be Acapulco Gold. Panama Red is good
   and so is Chicago Green."

* blow (a person's) mind (OED2 1967)

   "I walked into his living room and the shades were down, the
   Rolling Stones were blaring out of a box, psychodelic lights were
   flashing out of the coffee table and these guys with long hair
   were huddled in the corner passing a joint (marijuana cigarette)
   around and blowing their minds."

But this is antedated by:

   Way-Out Garb Offers Art Form for Clique
   Los Angeles Times, Nov 2, 1965, p. A1
   "The clothing makes me feel free and I dig blowing people's minds
   (upsetting people)."

This is already the transferred sense, 'to produce (in a person) a
pleasurable (or shocking) sensation', so the more strictly drug-related
sense is no doubt even older.

--Ben Zimmer

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