[Ads-l] New York Daily News interview request

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Wed Mar 2 01:22:17 UTC 2016

The Daily News could be referred to the episode of "Monk" where he's working on a farm (yes, really!  near lots of dirt!), uncovers a neighbor who is raising marijuana, and rattles off more than a dozen slang terms, starting with reefer.  Series 5, episode 14.  From IMBD:

Adrian Monk:Okay, what's back there? Let me guess. Fields of reefer. Jimmy Belmont:Fields of reefer? What kind of cop were you? Adrian Monk:You know what I mean. Ditchweed. Boo. The old Ali Baba. Jimmy Belmont:What makes you think that I'd actually... Adrian Monk:Magic Dragon. Bambalachi. Yellow Submarine. Black Bart. Dr. Giggles. Kentucky Blue. You know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Railroad Weed. That's right. The Devil's Parsley. Skunk. Splim. Splam. Mooster. Side Salad. Jimmy Belmont:Side Salad? 


      From: James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
 Sent: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 5:49 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] New York Daily News interview request
A few more guesses:

"weed" for marijuana may belong to the same pejorative category as "junk", "dope", or "shit" for heroin.

"grass" for marijuana may be due to the fact that marijuana plants are widely grown in the US but opium poppies and coca plants are not.

"roach" (as in "roach clip") for marijuana may come from the Spanish "cucaracha" ("cockroach"), and yes the song "La Cucaracha" is about marijuana smoking, at least in part:

    La cucaracha, la cucaracha      The cockroach, the cockroach
    Ya no puede caminar              No longer can move
    Porque no tiene, porque le falta Because he doesn't have, because he needs
    Marijuana que fumar              Marijuana to smoke

It is interesting that a drug addict is a "junkie" and not a "junker", the latter term being reserved for dysfunctional automobiles.  It seems much more likely that "junk" was the original term and "junkie" was derived from it; I doubt that "junkie" came first and "junk" for drugs came from a shortening.

- Jim Landau

Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.

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

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

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