[Ads-l] New York Daily News interview request

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 1 23:54:25 UTC 2016


I did some research into "dope" a couple years ago.

There are references for "dope" as a noun and verb, with respect to opium use and "doping" horses at the race track from as early as the mid-1880s:
In a humorous story about a man who goes to a pharmacist to purchase something to put a goat to sleep: "That's what I want the dope for. I want to dose that goat with something that will make him lay down and gently kick his life away . . ." The San Antonio Light, June 30, 1883, page 7.

"There was a wild shout from the small pool-buyers when it was seen that Philip had the race.  After this race it was claimed that the Prince of Norfolk had been doped." Sacramento Daily Record-Union, September 13, 1884, page 1.

The word shows up regularly after 1885, most often referring specifically to opium.  Etymonline.com suggests that "dope" comes from the Dutch, "doop," meaning a thick sauce or gravy, and that it may have been picked up with reference to opium because it was smoked in a semi-liquid state.  The word, dopey, meaning slow or stupid, seems to refer to how you act when under the influence of "dope."

There is also one reference, dated 1883, that appears to use "doped" to mean "adulterated," so it is unclear whether it is directly related to "dope" as in opiates; although the reference is about tobacco, so perhaps there is a connection to the smoking trade through smoking opium?

"This in itself, being entirely inodorous, is not intended for a box flavor, but will yield the fine natural Havana aroma when burning, hence the advantage in using it on fine goods, as they never can be called doped or doctored goods." Catalog, Bentley's Acme Flavors for the Tobacconist, Newark, Ohio, Clark & Underwood, 1883.

I also know of a reference showing the use of "junk" in 1916; I found the reference when looking at the word, "Jazz"; here, "Jaz" equals drugs:

"In the past twenty-nine days we have made thirty-six arrests.  More than 75 percent of the drug users are burglars, pickpockets, criminals of every short, panders or prostitutes.  Criminals have a much easier time procuring their "jaz," their "junk," "Mud," "snow," or their "hop," than an honest person would." Chicago Examiner, volume 14, number 83,  page 9. March 28, 1916.


 		 	   		  
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