"roach" = 'joint' butt--anything before 1938?

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Sun Nov 16 22:55:58 UTC 2003

On Sun, Nov 16, 2003 at 04:23:58PM -0500, Sam Clements wrote:
> The term 'roach' is cited first in the US from a New Yorker story in 1938.
> The writer visited a marijuana party in Harlem and came away with some
> slang.  The OED cites from the New Yorker story--"A pinched-off smoke, or
> stub, is a roach."

Is that the Meyer Berger story? Some colossal misunderstandings
of the jargon in there, IIRC. He gets this one right, though.

In any case, we don't have anything earlier, nor does HDAS.

Jesse Sheidlower

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