Mary Jane

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Thu Dec 30 13:49:03 UTC 2004

On Thu, Dec 30, 2004 at 04:29:49AM -0700, Art Goodtimes wrote:
> i've long wondered as to the origin of the term "Mary Jane" for
> cannabis. all the dictionaries i've checked say "origin uncertain". is it?

Hadn't realized that anyone regarded it as of uncertain origin. OED
summarizes things as:

[Alteration of MARIJUANA n. after the female forename Mary
Jane (see MARY JANE n.1), perhaps arising from the folk
etymology of Mexican Spanish marihuana from the personal name
Maria-Juana (see discussion s.v. MARIJUANA n.). Cf. MARY AND
JOHNNY n., MARY ANN n. 2, MARY WARNER n., and MARY n.2]


Jesse Sheidlower

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