Mary Jane

Art Goodtimes cloudacre at NORWOODCOLORADO.US
Fri Dec 31 00:24:44 UTC 2004


hmmm. the "perhaps" from the OED seems to preserve the

i did realize that MaryJane is simply the translation of the Spanish
name for cannabis. but the on-line etymological dictionary doesn't help

1918, alt. by influence of Sp. proper name Maria Juana "Mary
Jane" from mariguan (1894), from Mex.Sp. marihuana, of
uncertain origin.
    "Marijuana ... makes you sensitive. Courtesy has a great
    deal to do with being sensitive. Unfortunately marijuana
    makes you the kind of sensitive where you insist on
    everyone listening to the drum solo in Iron Butterfly's
    'In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida' fifty or sixty times." [P.J.
    O'Rourke, "Modern Manners," 1983]


On 30 Dec 2004 at 8:49, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> ----------------------- Sender:       American Dialect Society
> <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> Poster:       Jesse Sheidlower
> <jester at PANIX.COM> Subject:      Re: Mary Jane
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
> 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]
> Best,
> Jesse Sheidlower

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