A helpful guide to 1967 East Village drug slang

newbohemiaguyLate 1960s drug culture apparently had readers of The New York Times perplexed.

How else to explain this article, dated April 16, 1967, that translates slang words and phrases spoken by East Village drug users?

The reporter hung out with young adults who were part of the “scene,” in other words, “people over 25 years old who hold sporadic jobs when they need money and can be understood only by other members of the “acid bag.”

It reads like a quick anthropological study of a primitive culture or tribe.

“The lingo of the ‘head,’ or drug user, is as diverse and incomprehensible to an outsider as the laboratory jargon of a nuclear physicist,” states the article.

“‘Head’ also has two meanings—what a person thinks and what drug he uses. . . .”

Eastvillageslangnytimesclip“A ‘shrink’ is a psychiatrist. Acid is LSD; grass is marijuana; a joint is a marijuana cigarette and a high is the feeling after using a drug.”

“In the East Village, people don’t carry things in a bag.  They carry things in a sack,” the article goes on. “A ‘bag’ is what they like and ‘what’s happening.'”

My favorite: “When a person’s mind is blown, he hears a phrase, word, poem, story, or sound that is ‘too much.'”

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5 Responses to “A helpful guide to 1967 East Village drug slang”

  1. chas Says:

    And the West has “jonesin'”…from Jones St…

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Yes! https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/jones-vs-great-jones-which-street-came-first/

  3. Richard Says:

    But what would you do if your bag was actually your bag? Like, you had a cool sack, it was a groove for carrying things around, you really dug it, and your bag was totally happening? That would be too much. My mind would be blown by that.

    (And why am I hearing this spoken by George Carlin as Al Sleet, the hippy dippy weatherman? Que what you call your pasa, man?)

  4. Ty Says:

    Rich white kids who got high every day pretending to be poor while living off their mid-western parent’s money glorified by a narrowly provincial newspaper favored by upper-west-side limousine liberals who enjoy a good article at anyone’s expense except their own while NYC bled more than one million people and headed for a cliff of arson, crime, cinematic incompetence and general despair. Sack to Mid-Westerners is what New Yorkers call a bag.

  5. chas1133 Says:


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