|Slang City Mail|
|September 23, 2004|
Slang of the
Week: jones (noun)
Since to keep up with the Joneses is to try to be equal to your neighbors, it might seem like there would be a connection between these two, but it’s unlikely. Keeping up with the Joneses was the name of an American comic by Arthur "Pop" Momand. Starting in 1913, the strip told the story of unfashionable Ma and Pa McGinnis, who were eager to keep up with their stylish neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Jones.
But jones is also a word for both drugs (especially heroin) and a drug habit. It can also be used as a verb, as in the headline “Jonesing for my Coke High,” a 1999 Salon.com column by Liz Krieger. While it sounds as if she’s addicted to cocaine, the article is actually about her passion for Diet Coca-Cola.
One synonym for jonesing comes from the noun fiend (enthusiast or addict.) It sometimes appears as a verb, especially in music (though not in the dictionary!) As Christina Aguilera says in Walk Away, “I'm addicted to your allure and I'm fiending for a cure.” In recent years, the “d” has been dropped in many rap songs, where artists often feen for women.
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