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Head, head shop

Posted by Nigel on March 05, 2003

In Reply to: Head, head shop posted by ESC on February 25, 2003

: : : : : Any idea as to the etymology of the term "head shop"? Thanks for any clues.

: : : : "Head Shops" existed way back a long time ago in the mid to late sixties.
: : : : They catered to a customer who liked to feed his or her head with mind or mood altering substances.

: : : There were still one or two head shops around in the late 70's in London, usually masquerading as something else. I particularly remember a wonderfully titled shop called "Dark They Were And Golden-Eyed" in London's Soho, just off Wardour Street, that sold books, smoking accessories and pamphlets dealing with esoteric plant care. Sadly as time went by, they decided to drop the herbaceous-related lines, and reinvented themselves as Forbidden Planet, which sold nothing but books.

: : Such establishments may have been called head shops because people who favored one substance or another were called potheads, acidheads, meth-heads, and so on.

: HEAD - 1. A hippie 2. A devotee of a particular drug, as in "acid head" or "pot head." 3. A chronic drug user. Although the word has a strong association with hippies and the 1960s, it was used as early as 1937 to mean a habitual drug user.

: HEAD SHOP - A store catering to drug-using hippies, selling legal drug paraphernalia and experience-enhancing accoutrements such as incense or strobe lights.

: From "Flappers 2 Rappers: American Youth Slang" by Tom Dalzell (1996, Merriam-Webster, Springfield, Mass.)

Yeah - head shops fed yer head - seriously"Dark they were" was special - it sold science fiction ( old new and imported) plus comics and "underground comics"

The term head had a number of connotations - of course pothead etc but but also the feeling that the term head was praise meaning that the person knew where their head was.....

However the late 60s and early 70s were a time when most of us were just looking for our heads.....