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obscure American drug terms
Posted: 25 November 2012 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I thought I knew most slang drug terms but the following (from here) were completely new to me.

She was into girls [heroin], and I was into boys [cocaine]…

(She is Janis Joplin, he is Bobby Womack.) Are they widely known beyond drug takers and has anyone here come across these terms? The interviewer who is young and Welsh must have looked them up or knew them already. Or she could have asked him what they meant.

Why girls for a notoriously hard drug, etc?

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Posted: 25 November 2012 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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This online dictionary http://www.noslang.com/drugs/dictionary/ has them the other way round, for what it’s worth.

I’m fairly sure I’ve never heard either used. I might have come across them in reading, but can’t actually remember anything.

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Posted: 25 November 2012 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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She was into girls [heroin], and I was into boys [cocaine]…

I have only heard them the used the other way around. And also, usually without the plural, thus:

‘She was into boy [heroin], and I was into girl [cocaine].’

The main line, “Have you seen my wife?” from the movie, Frantic (1988), starring Harrison Ford, introduces a humorous scene involving misunderstanding. The scene takes place [beginning] in a bar/club and ends later in the public men’s room. The dialog is between a drug-dealer and the Dr. (played by Ford), who is looking for his missing wife. The Dr.’s frenzied search is mistaken for a need for the drug, cocaine. [Addicts of cocaine, with a mature habit, sometimes refer to it as “my wife”, “the lady”, “my lady”, “my white lady”, etc.]

[ Edited: 25 November 2012 10:12 AM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 25 November 2012 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve found a 1999 journal article that describes the use of boy to mean heroin and girl to mean cocaine. The study looks at, among other things, drug terms used in interviews with IV drug users in Dayton and Columbus, Ohio conducted primarily between 1989 and 1991 and intermittently until 1998. The study ascribes the origin to stereotypical gender roles, with heroin/boy being a “hard” drug and cocaine/girl being “soft.”

Perhaps either Bobby Womack or the reporter were confused, or maybe Womack’s experience with drug slang is different.

The article is Carlson, Robert G., “‘Boy’ and ‘girl’: the AIDS risk implications of heroin and cocaine symbolism among injection drug users,” Anthropology & Medicine, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1999, 59–77.

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Posted: 26 November 2012 02:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The main line

Boomtish

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Posted: 26 November 2012 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Heroin, it’s my wife and it’s my life”

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Posted: 26 November 2012 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I don’t think I’ve ever heard or read a more horrifying song

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Posted: 26 November 2012 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Horrifying and great.  There’s nobody else like VU.

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Posted: 26 November 2012 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I guess nobody in your family is addicted to it, languagehat.

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Posted: 26 November 2012 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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To note something that I’m sure was obvious to everybody (and so obvious that nobody else felt the need to note it), it seems clear that Womack was making a pun by simultaneously referencing drug use and (jokingly?) implying that he and Joplin were both gay (AFAIK, Womack is not gay, but Joplin was either gay or bisexual). 

My WAG would be that Womack was so fixated on his pun that he either messed up the drug references or deliberately misused them (in order to make the pun work).  My further WAG would be that the reporter tried to “fix” the quote by supplying bracketed meanings for the drug terms that seemed to make sense and to fit with the known facts (I.e., Joplin’s legendary use of heroin) but that were misuses of the terms.  It’s also possible that there are/were some circles where “boy” means cocaine and “girl” means heroin, but that seems like a bigger leap to make than guessing that Womack was so bent on making a funny that he got his wires a little crossed.

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Posted: 26 November 2012 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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lionello - 26 November 2012 10:28 AM

I guess nobody in your family is addicted to it, languagehat.

Thank you.

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Posted: 27 November 2012 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Not good lyrics for vulnerable young people to read.

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Posted: 27 November 2012 03:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Wowsers.

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Posted: 27 November 2012 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Urban Dictionary on wowser:

In Australia, it is a derogatory word denoting a person who saps all the fun out of any given situation. Derived from the temperance movement in Australia and New Zealand at the turn of the C20th, when it was hurled as an accusation towards conservative teetotallers who were too prim and proper to relax and socialise, it has become a more generic term that can be assigned to any straight bore lacking a sense of humour, especially petty bureaucrats and Aussies politicians.

and on troll:

One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument

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Posted: 27 November 2012 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I guess nobody in your family is addicted to it, languagehat.

What a thoughtless and insulting thing to say.  I guess you reject all songs, novels, poems, movies, and other works of art that depict any form of human behavior that harms human beings.  If not, then get your own criteria straight before making assumptions about other people.  Life is complicated, art is complicated, the relationship between the two is extra complicated, and the moral high ground is tricky to claim and usually impossible to stay upright on.

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Posted: 27 November 2012 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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No insult was intended - I regret any offense I have given you. No, I don’t reject all the things you listed, but I think heroin addiction is a horrifying, utterly degrading thing, perpetuated by unutterably horrible people, and I don’t care to see it glorified. I agree with the person in my family who said “anyone who sells heroin to schoolchildren should be killed”.
And I really think your outburst was unwarranted.

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