Cannabis Slang Throughout Background: Portion 1



Cannabis Slang Throughout History Part 1



In my last post I briefly lined a number of bits of modern day hashish slang. During my research I came throughout a couple of matters that Guardian crossword writers probably even now think are explained by the young men and women and that bought me contemplating. I ponder what individuals made use of to call weed when it initially became popular. I surprise what the youthful hip slang was at the start of the 20th century. So I experienced a tiny dig and I cherished it all so a great deal that I made a decision you all wanted to know. Honestly, I consider that we should provide some of these back and I shall position out which words I will be saying from now on as we go via the list. So without the need of more ado, let us have a gander at hashish slang of the previous. I reckon I’ll go through by period and then at the stop place all of the funniest ones I could locate. That is named incentive. 


By Era 


1800s – 1900s


We can really commence all the way back in the 1800s when hashish was 1st moving throughout the globe from India and the Middle East. This is wherever we first obtain the term ‘ganja’ in 1856. This arrived from the Hindi word for the plant which was only ‘ganjha’. The motive that the phrase moved forward into the patois of the time is that this was how it was taxed by the British because of to the rising recognition of using tobacco cannabis. It’s fascinating that around the decades there have been so numerous countless numbers of text all about the planet for cannabis and one of the first employed is even now a single of the most popular. 




Then we shift to 1910 when the word ‘weed’ was initially utilised to refer to cannabis plants. Prior to this cannabis was referred to by its scientific names this sort of as ‘cannabis’ or ‘hemp’. Weed did not truly turn into an officially recognised term right up until the late 20s when it was shown as the formal expression in ‘American Speech’. This was also all over the time that the American govt started the war on prescription drugs and designed the much far more well-known and racist term ‘marijuana’. 

I have formerly composed an total short article on the word ‘marijuana’ so I will not go overboard but in essence it is not a Mexican time period as the American community were led to imagine. It was created to seem international mainly because the American govt wanted to crack down on the jazz scene exactly where a good amount of weed was currently being smoked. In truth it took place to be preferred in lots of POC scenes which meant it was prime for currently being made unlawful, it just wanted what was considered a terrifying title. I could talk about this for good but if you are fascinated either look for my article ‘The Racist Origins of the Phrase Marijuana’ on this weblog or have on your own a analysis. 

A person interesting word that was made use of in the jazz scene was ‘muggles’. Of training course, these times it would make us assume of the do the job of a selected curiously opinionated author but again then it was made use of to imply joints primarily, or just weed in typical. We see a handful of noteworthy occasions of this these kinds of as the Louis Armstrong music ‘Muggles’ or character Philip Marlowe in the e book ‘little sister’ who calls a clerk a “muggle smoker”. 


1930s – 1950s


For a prolonged time hashish just was not talked about publicly due to the fact of the way that the media and the govt demonised it. Having said that, there have been still slang text applied in the communities exactly where hashish was well-liked irrespective of the racist attack on its legality. The hatred of hashish at this time essentially gave rise to a single of the a lot more well known text which was ‘reefer’. 1936 observed the weird general public announcement movie “Reefer Madness”. If you haven’t watched it I seriously advocate that you do it is crazy. ‘Reefer’ was truly a sailing term made use of when conversing about rolling up the sail, which was sort of what rolling a joint seemed like. Other people say it will come from the shell of a snail which is normally regarded as a reef. There was a different etymological origin but I just can’t keep in mind what it was and I just can’t come across the site any longer. The expression by itself is very first recorded in the 20s but grew to become well-known thanks to the massively spectacular film about the potential risks of cannabis for youthful bubbly teenagers. 

There were being a couple other phrases that ended up popular with the persons who basically smoked in this time instead than the anxiety mongers. ‘Giggle smoke’ is a distinct favourite of mine and its origins are pretty apparent. In the 40s an attention-grabbing term was utilized, ‘salt and pepper’. This a person was made use of by the jazz community because of renowned musician Mezz Mezzrow’s memoir. In the guide he referred to the drug as ‘salt and pepper’ and he was so famous as a smoker that some joint styles were being even named for him.  At last another favourite of mine which is merely ‘jive’ named such due to the fact it ‘took away your blues’. I love the happy and upbeat really feel that these slang names have for hashish instead than those that are laced with concern and racism. 


1960s- 1980s (a bit)


This was a quite rich slang period of time so we won’t be equipped to complete it in this short article. I also won’t get to the funny types in this posting but at the finish of the upcoming 1. I guess that’s still incentive though I thoroughly realize if this has affected your believe in in me. Exactly where was I? Ah indeed the 1960s when we first observed phrases these as “herb” and “grass” since a revolution had started off. The hippies ended up coming and they were being performed with the awful title that the American govt was giving to the magical plant. So join me next time for every little thing from the 60s till the contemporary working day and some definitely funny slang terms. I’ll give you one fantastic 1 that I’ll reveal in element up coming time, goof butt. See? Amusing things.


Penned by Tasha Porritt


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