[Ads-l] Antedating "hophead"

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 6 16:00:06 EST 2017

> Is "Hop" a Chinese word? - or a Chinese accent-influenced corruption of the first syllable of opium? - mispronunciation of "dope"?

Dunno, but from 1889 via ADS-L 2007 from George Thompson is
"hop-in-yen" or "hop" for short:

        SCENES IN AN OPIUM JOINT.  ***  [on 14th street, in "the old
Palm Garden"]  "Who's his jags?" sharply queried the door-keeper.
"He's all right," announced the stranger.  "He was sent here by right
        ***  "Give us a layout and a shell of 'dope,'" ordered the
reporter's companion.  [The layout includes] a sponge called . . . a
"yen-suey;" a long tapering needle . . . called a "yen-hock;" and the
opium called "hop-in-yen," "dope," or "hop" for short.
        The World, February 10, 1889, p. 20, cols. 5-6.



The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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