lid, meth, etc. (1966)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 20 19:38:25 UTC 2004

At 3:59 AM -0500 12/20/04, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>On Mon, 20 Dec 2004 03:44:30 -0500, Benjamin Zimmer
><bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU> wrote:
>>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.
>Slightly antedated by:
>   New York Times, Mar 21, 1966, p. 27, col. 2
>   The more sophisticated users, however, buy it by the ounce, which costs
>   from $15 to $25 and in the Western states is called a can or lid.
In Southern California in those days, "lid" was standard (according
to my, um, research data), but I don't recall "can" at all, FWIW.  Of
course "the Western states" covers a lot of territory.  Maybe "lid"
shares the isogloss of "the 5 freeway".


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