Posts Tagged ‘East Village summer of love’

A helpful guide to 1967 East Village drug slang

September 5, 2013

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.'”